Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"The One" and Dr. Seuss Crossroads

I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of Jefferson Bethke, but he posts videos on youtube about various Christian topics. He has some amazing videos out there like “Counterfeit Gods” and “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” I was watching a few of his newer videos the other day and happened upon one entitled “How Do you know Someone is ‘The One,’” and it really got me thinking, like many of Jeff’s videos do. His answer to this question was... there is no “one” and my dreams of fairytale came crashing down. And rightly so. Jeff went on to say that if there was “the one” for each of us, someone must have messed it up somewhere because we’re humans and that’s our method of operation to perpetually mess up without the help of our Savior. Therefore, there couldn’t be one for us, but many people that could make each of us happy, and we get to choose which one fits us best and draws us nearer to God. This logic makes a lot of sense. Jeff continued by saying that we, especially women, become way too obsessed with our ideas of our perfect “one” and it creates an impossible dream that no man will ever be able to fulfill. By this point in the video, my head was reeling. I realized very quickly that I had begun creating a perfect man and it would only create a very sorry, lonely me. But what is more, Jeff had proposed and backed up a view very contrary to what I believed, and it scared me. My mind flipped through faces and back again wondering if my idealistic and utterly unattainable view of my perfect man had made me pass by the right guy for me. I was all of the sudden very confused. This new perspective didn’t make sense to me. I realize now that what it didn’t allow for was my lackadaisical perspective on following God’s plan for my life. I wanted to rely on God to insert the perfect guy into my life at just the right time. But that’s not what He does. I view my life and all the paths it could take much like a Dr. Seuss crossroads. I have many possible paths and I need to discern which path leads me closer to God. But just like in life, there are many possible ways to get from Point A to Point B. From my house I can take probably ten different routes to get to where I’m sitting right now in Starbucks. Two of those take exactly the same amount of time, just having seen different scenery along the way. The point I’m trying to make is this: I believe God allows us a bit of wiggle room in our decisions; the gift of free will. There are a million ways I could go with my life and a thousand that will end up bringing me closer to my Lord and Savior. A hundred of those are paths I would enjoy and learn a lot through. Depending on what course I take according to the decisions I make, life will introduce me to different people. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Our God promises and assures us a life in which we will blossom into beings closer and in better resemblance to Him, if we choose to follow Him. What He does not promise is there will always be one path to choose from nor does He ensure that we will always choose right. He will help us along the way, but we will inevitably mess up and take a less than perfect route. Thus far in my much less than perfect life of decisions, I have had the pleasure of meeting thousands of people. Any one of those thousand, or the thousands more I will meet, could make me very happy and help me to lead a Christ-centered life. God knows the plans He has for me. He knows which path I will end up taking, but it is up to me to take it. He knows the man I will end up choosing, but it is up to me to choose him. I can’t get anywhere if I don’t actually decide where I want to go. I have to take in active role in life, I can’t just expect God to do it for me. I am blessed with the assurance that He has a divine plan, but He can’t live my life for me, and I have realized if I want Him to then I am missing out on living life for myself. I was given the gift of life and I choose to live today, yesterday, and every day forward.