From the beginning of creation, the One who created all things decided to make human beings in so many ways like Himself. One of those ways was being able to choose.
He chose the millions of kinds of vegetation to plant in the earth and in the sea. He chose what colors to paint the stripes on a lemur and the feathers on a Burrowing Owl. He chose the shape land would take and the shape of the first man’s eye. He chose us, actually naming us his chosen ones.
He still chooses us. Even when we choose other affections. His gaze is still upon his masterpiece, his finger still pointed at our soul with purpose and intention. If we were made like him, we must have this same ability. Some call it free will. I call it the gift of choosing. It is a sort of – side effect of love.
So every day we get to wake up and breathe in fresh air, and one of thousands of choices we get to make, after making our coffee, of course, is, “Where will I place my attention today? Will I set my trust in Him with that one thing?”
Will I choose Him back?
Paul wrote something to a bunch of believers in Corinth a long time ago, and it’s been floating in front of my face lately. He wrote about what love is, what it isn’t, what it does, what it doesn’t. How love does not insist on its own way. It does not seek its own interests.
This last bit about not seeking its own, is bound to that gift of choosing.
If God is love, and love does not insist on its own way, hustling to reach its own goals and crushing every obstacle or hater in its way, we’d see it plainly in the life of Christ. We would see Jesus never insisting on His own way. And we do. We see this time and time again. Why? The writer of Hebrews gives us a hint – He was the exact copy of His Father, just visible and vulnerable. Choosing to love was his #1 priority.
Whenever I read letters in red, I see a submission of His will, to His Father’s. It is His way that Jesus insists on. In this, His own way is yielded and set aside.
When He cried and sweat blood in the garden the night before He was murdered, He called out to His Father to see if there was any other way. His will to escape suffering, He left in the soil of Gethsemane.
He had control over all of it. But chose to yield.
Choosing is like currency. We get to use choices in a way that will bless, encourage, or make the most of a moment. Or we can use them to self promote, judge others, or waste a moment. In all these things, in the choices we make, we’re exerting control over our lives. He’s not only ok with that, He made us like that. Ponder this: if He was completely “in control”, why does Paul write that one fruit of the Spirit is self control? Controlling oneself might be seen as a conscious choice to yield your will to a superior will.
Love controls oneself, not another.
He chooses us and in a display of his love, he lets us choose who we want in return, because real Love, agape love, pours out. It does not withhold. It keeps a low and vulnerable posture. It does not manipulate because of underlying fear.
It lets the other choose whether or not to love in return.