There are these shirts you can buy from a cool, clever website that say “Arminianism- This shirt chose me. Calvinism-I chose this shirt”. Whenever I look at that shirt, I start coveting and griping, complaining to God that graduate school has made me too poor to buy clever shirts. But in truth, most people wouldn’t get the joke. And the ones who get the subtle Christian-inner-circle humor probably wouldn’t think it was all that funny anyway. They would be wrong, but I forgive them.
But maybe it isn’t the shirt’s wit that resonates with me- maybe it’s the whole issue of the choices we make as Christians. Even more, how our choices relate to God’s will and sovereignty. By this, I don’t mean the “free will” versus “predestination” argument, because I can guess that most of us during our “deep” thinking college years have spent long, dizzying evenings debating these issues with friends. The intellectual friend would say “But it’s entirely Biblical to believe that God will have mercy upon those His will have mercy”, to which the touchy-feely friend would say “No, God is love and He sent Jesus for everyone’s sins…” Yes, round and round it goes, and the perfect answer nobody knows.
The choices I wonder about are the recurring ones, the decisions we have to make during seasons of transition or boredom or joy. The kinds of decisions where both choices seem acceptable and God isn’t shouting out His will through a Heavenly microphone. Here’s an example. I have this guy friend, somebody I met the first year of college when we were all searching for identities and relationships beyond the familiarity of our cushy, middle class childhoods. I met my friend through another guy whom I thought was incredible, because he surfed, sometimes read the Bible, and actually liked me back. Nine years later, now a more “mature” Christian and single, this friend and I are having to consider if we want to move forward into dating, or choose to stop using each other as back-up plans. Well, if my female Bible studies and Christian books are right, God cares first and foremost about hooking me up with the right, Christian guy so that we can make Christian babies and send out Christmas cards together. As Steve Carrell’s character says on The Office, “I want the house. I want the picket fence. I want the ketchup fights, and the tickling and the giggling.” And God wants us to have them too, no?
The disturbing realization is that maybe God brings us to these forks in the road, not so that He reveal mysterious truths like some oracle in a Greek tragedy, but so that we will get down on our knees in the morning to sit with him a bit and ask humbly to hear His voice. The more I desire for God to elucidate the right choice, the more He seems to show me that this prayer posture is the only choice to make. God promises wisdom to those who call out for insight and understanding. It’s a fact, and it’s in Proverbs. Maybe by the time, you read this my friend and I will have decided whether or not to take the awkward, scary risk of a relationship, but that doesn’t really matter. My only hope is that I continue to choose God’s presence in the lonesome, intimate hours of the morning, and that He does with me as He wills.
Posted on October 15, 2007 12:00 AM