Free to Choose (May contain zombie metaphors, Frodo quotes, and Bible verses.)

I have a feeling this is going to be another week of being sick…again. There are lots of aches (ears, body, heads) and pains (throats), phlegm, and coughing. We are ramping up immune stuff. Again.

Doing everything without complaining or arguing feels impossible right now. Not feeling particularly “shiny-star-in-the-universe-y” lately, you know.

But, with God, all things are possible. And this is only a season.

I say that because I’m supposed to.

In this moment, my brain can run with it. In this moment, my heart struggles to keep up. Still, the knowing is my mustard seed. I have found that, if I know something to be true, I can at least act as though I believe it, which is obedience, pure and simple. In acting on what I know to be true, I often find that I do, after all, believe.

Cool.

My troubles, compared to so many others, are paltry.

We may have been struggling with virus after virus for several weeks, for the second time this year, but there are folks who are not looking forward to being healthy ever again. Our problem is likely fixable, and Levi and I are working toward that end with as much wisdom as the Lord gives us. We’re not exactly looking death in the face.

Knowing this, I feel small.

And I’m sure that feeling is accurate.

I am one small member of the Body of Christ. Important, yes, but not more important than any other member. I’m probably right up there with, I don’t know, eyebrows?

In my struggles, I learn a lot about myself.

My flesh doesn’t stay dead. Selfishness, envy, pride, and discontent all rear their ugly heads. Sometimes, I beat them back like a chain-saw-wielding zombie apocalypse survivor. The cool one who has quirky witticisms to hurl at the undead. Not the stupid one who walks down the dark alley by himself, unarmed. Just to be clear.

Other times, I curl up in a ball and cry self-pitying tears, in what I think is a safe corner. Zombie food.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that being a Christian doesn’t mean I’m inherently better equipped to handle the everyday crap we all deal with – self-created or not.

The difference is that I am no longer obligated to give into any of the disgusting, zombie-like temptations that threaten to topple me. Struggling does not mean I have to give in.

This says it better than I can:

“But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “”Abba,” Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
~Romans 8:10-17 (NIV – emphasis mine)

Well put, Apostle Paul. Well put.

Never before has it been so very clear to me that there is, ultimately, always a Choice. Not necessarily about my emotions and how I feel, since those are just physical reactions. But a Choice to take a step in one of two directions: 1) Closer to my Abba Father, and more deeply into his will, or 2) A little farther away from my Abba, who so longs for me to let him help me walk.

I am his daughter. I long to obey. To work out my salvation with fear and trembling. To know and be known.

To shine like a star in the universe – clear, bright, and kind of twinkly.

Sounds better than letting the zombies eat me, don’t you think?

I want to end with a quote from The Two Towers, because it came into my head as I was writing, and that obviously means that I have to share it.

It occurs just after Boromir has tried to take the Ring from Frodo, and Frodo has put on the Ring and run away. He sits on Amon Hen (the Seat of Seeing), and feels the tug of two forces on his mind and will.

“The two powers strove in him. For a moment, perfectly balanced between their piercing points, he writhed, tormented. Suddenly he was aware of himself again. Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant to do so. He took the Ring off his finger…Frodo rose to his feet. A great weariness was on him, but his will was firm and his heart lighter. He spoke aloud to himself. ‘I will do now what I must,’ he said. ‘This at least is plain….'” ~J.R.R. Tolkien

And this, my friends, is what I feel goes on within me at every moment of everyday.

Yes, there is temptation to fall into self-pity and doubt. There is also a precious Voice, urging me on to whatever is good, right, pure, noble, lovely, and more.

Apart from these two, there is me.

In each moment, I find myself free to choose.

Grace & Peace,
Tiffany

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