So Many Choices
All day, I’m making choices. From routine choices to make when getting myself and three boys ready in the morning to deciding what path to take with a particular student, even to determining how to have important discussions with my husband. My mind succumbs to the weight of the decisiveness needed on a daily basis. And I get tired. Defeated. Dragged down and worn out.
I get decision fatigue.So when it comes to making dinner, you can imagine that I’m all the way tapped out, mind scrambled from a long day and desperate for a mental retreat away from the hustle and bustle of my neurological city, a treacherous maze undoubtedly cluttered with hazard signs amidst the fogginess, long commutes on the most important information highways, and as many accidents as there are urgent tasks to do.
I’m exhausted just thinking about the choices.
Laundry now or laundry later? That’s an easy one. Later. Always later.
Wake Israel in 5 minutes or 25 minutes? Definitely in 5 minutes, because it will take a total of 25 minutes to get him out of bed. But if I wait until the very last second, I can just throw him in the car seat and let him get more rest. A little more complicated.
What to cook for dinner?
What do say to a student who’s considering giving up on college?
What to say when someone asks you to pray?
How to encourage my husband while he’s navigating the unknowns of entrepreneurship?
How to build up my boys individually and collectively?
How much it would cost each week to escape cleaning the house?
How long to write while there’s a moment of peace and quiet in the house?
My day is full of whats and hows and whys. Sometimes where. Never who…that one’s always me. And when is a whole other issue. Minutes escape me, so hours pile up as high as the delicates laundry basket I despise sorting through.
With such a precious resource of time, I have got maximize it with my choices. I’ll be the first to let you know that I waste time mainly because I have too many choices. Sorting through them all takes time. If only it were easier. If time could be maximized by having one choice that funnels all other choices, could I possibly use my time more wisely and make better overall choices?
Love is a Choice
With this cosmic chasm of choice, Dr. Gary Chapman in The 5 Love Languages discusses love as the primary choice, the one choice which guides our actions, intentions, and attitudes. He says, “We are creatures of choice, with capacity to make poor choices.”
Ouch. Guilty as charged.
But the choice that we can make to filter all other options is the choice to love. If I choose love every time, priorities become apparent, the whats and hows and whys get answered without much inner debate, and time is maximized based on what’s important to God, not necessarily what’s important to me.
He says we can “make the choice to love.”
So, I can look at that gargantuan mountain of laundry and see it as a reflection of my love to my family, and therefore decide to do it now. Send your strength, Lord.
Or I could put love on display by speaking life into a student’s academic pursuits and encouraging them to persevere through the storms that rage around him.
Or I could pour love into myself by doing something I have a passion for, by writing and sharing my experiences with other women.
If I choose love as a lens to view all other choices, I can use my time glorifying God’s character, His will, and His Kingdom.
Love is His Choice
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19 NIV
The story of Christ and the necessity of the Gospel is rooted in God’s choice to love. To show His love for us in the most extravagant way. Through the sacrifice of His Beloved Son, Christ the Messiah.
Through this choice of love, all grace and mercy and blessings flow. God is love, created love, and knows all about love. Even as the Originator of the concept, God desired to show us what love is really all about through action, through a remarkable display that confuses many and stuns others.
Dr. Chapman remarks, “When an action doesn’t come naturally to you, yet you do it, it is a greater expression of love.”
How true is this for God in terms of our own human understanding?!
It is unnatural to be born by a virgin.
It is unnatural to perform miracles.
It is unnatural to fast for forty days.
It is unnatural to speak in parables.
It is unnatural to heal with just a hand.
It is unnatural to go against tradition.
It is unnatural to stand in court without defending yourself.
It is unnatural to allow others to beat you.
It is unnatural to carry a cross for miles on end.
It is unnatural to cry out in agony while God turns His face away.
It is unnatural for one man to die the death that the entire human race deserved.
And it is unnatural that the same man be seen alive after his brutal death…
All of this to show the extravagance of God’s love for me, for you, for us.
That’s love as a choice.
Love is Your Choice
If God can do all that, can go through all those unnatural extremes to display these mysterious acts of love, then what choice can we make daily in lieu of all that He has done?
Make love the choice.
This month’s series takes principles from Dr. Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages and applies them to how God has shown His love for us through His Son, Christ. I’m cultivating The 5 Love Languages of Christ during this Christmas season to explore how He expresses His love for us and to reflect on how we can express that love back to Him and others.
In what ways do you make the choice to love? What do you do that’s unnatural to you but is a great act of love to another?
Share your revelations below.