The Choice

Dr. Eger in her book The Choice reminds us that, no matter what the circumstance, we have a choice in how our minds process and respond. She asks that we pause and reflect on the words evolving or revolving.

Are we evolving or revolving?

Think of situations and circumstances you are working through and ask yourself this question. Evolving is a result of change and purpose, not perfection. We know the difference when we quiet ourselves to seek understanding.

What quiets us long enough to process?

It can be repeated events or patterns.

“We all take our own pattern of thinking as normative, logical, and surely true, even when it does not fully compute. We keep doing the same thing over and over again, even if it is not working for us.” (Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps)

We also have life events that cause deep suffering, and from that suffering, we evolve if we are willing to do the work. We often view mistakes, loss, and suffering as some form of well-deserved punishment or with shame. It’s not until we see the need to evolve that we change and sometimes it’s in suffering that we profoundly see and open our eyes. We become more calculated and engaged in change. Perhaps that is why James says to us to “count it all joy”.

I go back to the Garden of Eden and find two people living in paradise. It was not until a crisis and mistake that they finally grasped their need for their Savior. They began to hide and shame entered the world. They knew their state of nakedness and fear gripped them along with shame. They were ever aware that their search for power left them with the knowledge of their powerlessness. Humans have struggled since that time with the need to be in control and many disorders and disordered thinking arose out of the lack of control whether valid or perceived.

Fast forward to the woman who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears and hair. She was evolving. The others in the room who shamed her were revolving–stuck in old patterns and thinking. Jesus responded with these words in Luke 7:

 Jesus said to the Pharisee, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

Simon said, “Teacher, tell me.”

41 Jesus said, “Two people owed money to the same banker. One owed five hundred coins and the other owed fifty. 42 They had no money to pay what they owed, but the banker told both of them they did not have to pay him. Which person will love the banker more?”

43 Simon, the Pharisee, answered, “I think it would be the one who owed him the most money.”

Jesus said to Simon, “You are right.” 44 Then Jesus turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I came into your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss of greeting, but she has been kissing my feet since I came in. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she poured perfume on my feet. 47 I tell you that her many sins are forgiven, so she showed great love. But the person who is forgiven only a little will love only a little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

They were not open to Jesus’s teaching. They actually questioned his authority. I do that, too, when I don’t get the answer I want. Don’t you? They were not open in the moment, but, perhaps, other events and circumstances added up to a moment of greater understanding.

In order to evolve, we recognize our powerlessness, and we daily engage in a spiritual act of worship like this woman, not out of duty, shame, or guilt, but the realization that we are free to be loved and to engage in life with great joy.

“God never speaks to us in startling ways. Get into the habit of saying ‘Speak, Lord’, and life will become a romance. Every time circumstances press, say ‘Speak, Lord’; make time to listen.” Oswald Chambers

I paused in my writing of this post. I thought “this post sounds so legalistic and bossy”. It’s hard to write the love I feel in my heart right now. I’m still worried and sometimes gripped with great sadness. I’m in the process of a great work. In some ways, I’ve given up which is a great place to be. I’ve come to the realization and a deeper level of powerlessness. In this space, like Oswald Chambers said, life has become a romance and a desire to evolve. The greatest joy is that I just need to recognize this need, show up, and expect Him to speak. He never demands perfection only a “yes”–a relationship.

I count on one thing
The same God that never fails
Will not fail me now
You won’t fail me now
In the waiting
The same God who’s never late
Is working all things out
You’re working all things out

Yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley
Yes I will, bless Your name
Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy
All my days, oh yes I will count on one thing
The same God that never fails
Will not fail me now
You won’t fail me now
In the waiting
The same God who’s never late
Is working all things out
Is working all things out

Oh, yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley
Yes I will, bless Your name
Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy
For all my days, oh yes I will
For all my days, oh yes, I will

And I choose to praise
To glorify, glorify
The Name of all names
That nothing can stand against
And I choose to praise
To glorify, glorify
The Name of all names
That nothing can stand against
And I choose to praise
To glorify, glorify
The Name of all names
That nothing can stand against
And I choose to praise
To glorify, to glorify
The Name of all names
That nothing can stand against

Oh, yes I will, lift You high in the lowest valley
Yes I will, bless Your name
Oh, yes I will, sing for joy when my heart is heavy
All my days, oh yes, I will
For all my days, oh yes, I will
For all my days, yes, I will

Source: Eddie Hoagland / Jonathan Smith / Mia FieldesYes I Will lyrics © Essential Music Publishing

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