I have grown up with the notion I should submit to authorities and God. On one level I am completely, totally, and without reservation sure that the premise is right. It is obvious that God is smarter, wiser, and far more mature. I also sit in positions of authority over my children. Preserving and maintaining the chain of authority is in my interest, even as it diminishes with every passing day (Carli and Whitney are young adults). Yet there is something clawing at my soul; are we required to accept what is, no matter how obvious or appropriate it might be? Just because I made a mistake yesterday, do I meekly accept the outcome of that action today? Am I merely an accepter of karma and life’s outcomes as they unfold with time?
Society tells me, or at least I perceive so, that the answer is yes. Is it?
I can only imagine myself in another’s shoes when “Hezekiah got sick. He was about to die. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and said, ‘God says, ‘Prepare your affairs and your family. This is it: You're going to die. You're not going to get well.’’” (Isaiah 38.1) Do I accept or fight for another outcome?
When I am not perfect in a role, am I required to take another course?
As I struggle in relationships, is life suggesting new friends and family?
If I am not perfect in my project, do I trash the result and try doing something else?
I would like to suggest the idea of submitting to authority and God is not what it seems. God is not asking us to give up our freedom. God is not suggesting we become robots. I certainty do not want my children or others to lose their emotions, independence, and identities.
Life happens, sometimes because of my choices and on other occasions, it just does. In this context, life’s most fundamental gift and responsibility is my freedom to choose. The question is, always, my intent. What is my choice? What is my heart’s goal?
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