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Choiceless Chosing

September 17, 2009


The year is flying by. I seem to have missed a great deal of it. For the first several months, I kept finding yet another month had come without my experiencing the one before. For so many years, the year was defined by the church calendar and I seemed to always have one foot in the future and one in the present, planning and organizing upcoming events. 2009 has been defined by hospital admissions, tests and procedures and instead, one foot seemed to be forever stuck in a month long since past. “May was the month of the stents…”I have felt I was always behind and struggling to catch up with a world that was shamelessly spinning without me. Slowly this feeling of struggle was traded for one of amusement as my illusion of control fell away.

I finally am feeling as if I am catching up. It is September. The subtle changes in the weather mask the profound changes the year has brought. Perhaps we all prefer to keep our most dramatic changes private. My own need to heal behind a closed door might have been frustrating to some. You may have been successful in keeping your own in quiet seclusion, but we all have changed. We all have grown and perhaps not in expected ways. All our eyes are more open and our minds more aware and our feet move in slightly different directions than we anticipated. Transformation cannot be predicted. What we become as we are made new can’t be guessed or planned or wrapped up neatly. Change is indeed often messy.

Sometimes I feel this crazy way my own life changed was in truth easier. There were no encrypted messages to be dissected and defined. I remember waking up in intensive care, still on a ventilator as I’d been for many hours after surgery. I could hear people speaking and I knew their voices were talking to me; however I could not see them. My blurred vision was focused, confined to a small tunnel of sight directly in front of me. This tunnel was as wide as my face at its broadest width and narrowed to a mere pinpoint in the distance, a slight three feet or so away. My head and hands were restrained, the focus of my sight not by wise and wondrous choice, but forced. The opening of my eyes and the awareness of my mind and the slow and guarded steps I now take seem choiceless. Gone are the multiple choice options. Perhaps this is the simpler way. Eyes straight ahead and arms held in restraint by a choiceless choice to do what is right for me. How often we cloud self-love  with confusion and cover it with doubt.

Those choiceless choices were rare and monumental life changing events in the past. To have my children, to go into ministry, loving Lisa…I remember longing for such clarity all the time. Such clarity isn’t constant yet, but far less clouded is my sight. Far less complicated is my living.

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