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 is he gave human beings the gift of choosing.
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. He actually calls us his chosen ones.
He still chooses us. Even when we choose other affections. His gaze is still on his masterpiece, his finger still pointed at our soul with purpose and intention. One result of us being made like him is we have the same ability. Some call it free will. I call it the gift of choosing. It is a sort of… side effect of love.
“For God so loved the world, he gave…”
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, “will I place my attention on Him today? My trust in Him with that one thing?”
Will I choose Him back?
Something that flew off one of Paul’s letters (the first one he wrote to the believers in Corinth) and seemed to float in front of my face for a while, was one thing he wrote about love. He wrote about what is is, what it isn’t, what it does, what it doesn’t. One thing he said was that love does not insist on its own way. It does not seek its own interests. In my mind, this statement was directly correlated to that gift of choosing.
If God is love, and love does not insist on its own way, and it does not seek its own interests, we’d see it plainly in the life of Christ. As Hebrew 1:3 states, Jesus was the exact representation of God the Father … only tangible. So we would see Jesus never insisting on His own way. And we do. We see this time and time again.
What I read, whenever there are letters in red, is a submission of his will to the will of his Father. 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. But he left that garden yielded. Left his will, set aside. What does this speak about his use of control?
He had control over all of it. Even Satan used this to tempt him 3 years prior. But He wouldn’t use his control if it was to accomplish something his Father wasn’t ok with. That would be abuse of a gift from God.
Do I abuse gifts from God? I wonder what they are. How often I do.
Choosing is a gift. Like money. We get to use choices in a way that will bless, encourage, make the most of a moment, exalt the Lord – or in a way that will keep our thoughts on ourselves, ignore or berate others, waste a moment. Neglect our Creator. In all these things, in the choices we make, we exert control over our lives. He’s ok with that. He made us like that. Like Him. But perhaps this is something that we would benefit from remembering:
Love controls oneself, not another.
He chooses us and in his love, he lets us choose who we want in return, because real Love, agape love, lets the other choose. Real love pours out, does not withhold, and does not manipulate or attempt to control because of fear or insecurity.
As we choose Him, Let’s let others choose.
And in doing so, let us stay steadfast in our trust in the One true God who is Love.