The pressure to change is relentless. New ideas, demands, and opportunities pull us in new directions. An option in every situation is to stay the course. Experience suggests that this choice is as difficult, sometimes more so, as another option that includes a different course.
A child is playing. He is just on the edge of my vision. As I turn to get a picture of the scene I find myself caught in a one-act play. Mom is on a mission. Her movements speak of someone with tasks that must be accomplished quickly and efficiently. As she balances the greater responsibilities of family and kids, she struggles to stay focused. A quick glance towards the boy tells her that things could easily get out of control. I see her lips moving and the boy turn. The moment of decision is here.
For a frozen moment in time nothing happens. A mother watches for a sign. A stranger looks on in wonder. The boy considers his options. Mom wants change. His natural reaction is to continue. Doing something new is another option.
Life rests in that moment. I realized that I am that boy. I hear God’s voice. Her instructions in my life are worthy of my attention even when I am busy. When I hear, what will I do?
It is interesting to listen to the options we have in life. As I replay the story I find myself listening to a writer’s voice that is centuries old. “Because of the current pressures on us from all sides, I think it would probably be best to stay just as you are. Are you married? Stay married. Are you unmarried? Don’t get married.” (1 Corinthians 7.26) The situation was different. Yet to his listeners, his words were advice to them at a defining moment in their lives.
I often consider my options and move on. Life reminds me that there is a bigger story at play. I am part of the story. I contribute in some way. The freedom to act is the heart of being alive.