Choosing Can Be Difficult

Bow River, Alberta, Canada
Bow River, Alberta, Canada Photo by Pam Ecrement

I cannot recall when I first came to grips with how much I wanted the option to choose something for myself. I am confident it began in early childhood. It usually does for all of us. It can be those pesky things about what we play with and whom we play with or what we want to wear or don’t want to wear, and so on. Early on in our lives that desire to be unfettered by the choices of others pokes its head up above the surface.

What I didn’t recognize for so much longer was the responsibility that was mine when I was allowed to choose. I couldn’t blame anyone else when I was the one choosing.

After that began to dawn on me, I think that most days I went along making choices and not thinking a great deal about them. So many daily choices can seem inconsequential at the time and many of them truly are, but not all. Sometimes the consequence of the choice does not show up for a very long time so it can be easy to forget my part in it.

I can choose to eat only the things I like and only go to bed or work when I feel like it. The first day I make such a choice is easy. It is even easier to do so a second day because I usually experience no consequences for it at the time. I won’t notice the effect on my health for perhaps a long time. I won’t notice that I actually reduce how many options I increasingly must choose from if those patterns aren’t healthy.

Small choices develop patterns of choices over time that lead to results I never bargained for.

I can easily forget that choice was first of all a gift from my Creator at the very beginning. It was and is a powerful gift! He wants me to choose to love Him and devote my life to Him. He could have made it a mandate for His creation, but He didn’t. And choices are often not easy.

“Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”

J. K. Rowling

An easy choice seems to cost me nothing. An easy choice fits in because it agrees with everyone else’s choice. An easy choice looks good on the outside.

I wonder if God gives us so many opportunities to practice choosing because He knows that at some point the things we must choose between will not be at all easy. Some of those things will come from small things we thought had no meaning or consequence. Some of them will come as a bolt out of the night and expose our cowardice when we try to avoid the choice that has come to us.

Each choice will finally highlight what we believe. It will also expose whom we believe and whether we are willing to risk being identified with Him, risk following Him, and risk trusting Him when it isn’t easy. Each choice will expose areas of unbelief as well.

In every great story, every great movie, the character in the story learns of a choice that is set before them. The tension in the reader or the audience grows steadily as the character grapples with the choice. In The Matrix Neo is offered the choice between the blue pill and the red pill without clear assurance for what will happen with either choice.

Frodo chooses to accept the ring and the challenges that come with it, but as he comes to realize how difficult that path is in The Fellowship of the Ring he says, “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.” The ever-wise Gandalf responds, “So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given you.”

I think one thing is certain. The choices I make today will prepare me for the choices ahead. The truth that I bury in my heart will form the foundation of what I believe. That foundation will help me face the choice between what is right and what is easy.

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13 thoughts on “Choosing Can Be Difficult

  1. This is a very thought provoking post, Pam! We do make choices every minute of every day and each one leads us to the next choice and the next consequence and the cycle never ends. But we have been given that gift to make our autonomous choices….but everything has a consequence of some sort. It is so important to recognize that. Thanks for sharing and linking with me!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

    1. Thanks, Shelbee, your comments always bless me. They always give me a glimpse into your thoughts and heart😊

  2. Such great insight and wisdom here, Pam. I never thought about it before, but an easy choice DOES look good on the outside.

    I also like how you note, “Each choice will finally highlight what we believe. It will also expose whom we believe and whether we are willing to risk being identified with Him, risk following Him, and risk trusting Him when it isn’t easy. Each choice will expose areas of unbelief as well.” So beautifully and powerfully said!

    1. Thanks for your kind words and affirmation. Blessing on you, your day, and how the Lord uses you💝

  3. Reading your post immediately brought to mind my choices when I was first married. I was giddy with the fact that since I was now in charge of the menu, we would only have my favorites! Soon I realized eating all my favorites caused me to gain weight! Freedom is not always a good thing!

    I, too, like this quote: “Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”J. K. Rowling

    So glad I have a foundation of faith to guide me in those choices.

  4. The hope in this is that those small right choices of obedience (although it may feel at first a sacrifice, a tearing away) can lead to unexpected, but fulfilling lives that God wants for us! Bow River in Canmore, Alberta is a beautiful place! I’m glad you got to experience it!

    1. So true, Lynn. I agree!!

      It is indeed beautiful and it has been a few years, but this photo takes me back except for the sound of the river😊

  5. “The choices I make today will prepare me for the choices ahead. The truth that I bury in my heart will form the foundation of what I believe. That foundation will help me face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” May each of my choices build upon and strengthen the foundation which has been laid upon His truth. Pam, this is powerful and sobering to think on. Your post has had me thinking on this verse since I first read the post yesterday … “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15, NASB).

    1. Thanks, Joanne! That is a perfect verse! I hear persons say often that they wonder how they, their church, their neighborhood, their state or city, or their country has gotten to where it is – choices made and not made one by one over time. ♥️

  6. Making the right and wise choices in the little things prepares us for the big things, doesn’t it? Doing my best to be faithful in my choices . . . I like that quote about choosing between what’s right and what’s easy.

    Your neighbor at IMM

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