No More Dillydally––Sometimes You Just Gotta Choose |
christian speaker, writer, christian blog, south dakota blog, speaker, sojourner, Cindy Krall
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There’s a long list of synonyms for the word indecision.

 

Hesitation
 
Ambivalence
 
Unsure
 
Vacillate
 
Oscillate

Waver
 
Teeter
 
Falter

 

My favorites?

 

Shillyshally and Dillydally

 

We’re wrapping up our series on fasting from things that are bad for us by unpacking the good God has in store for us when we fast from indecision.

 

Recently, I had lunch with a friend. We agreed that often in life, one decision can have ripples. Tiny twists and turns that could have been different if it weren’t for a particular decision.  

 

This kind of reflection could scare the tar out of us. If we’re not careful, we could end up paralyzed in our decision-making because we’re afraid we will get it wrong. 

 

But what if our decisions could be protected in a way that allowed for variations but not harmful redirections?

 

We can experience this kind of security if we start with one, just one, crucial decision. 

 

We can choose God. 

 

Psalms 16, verse five says this: “My choice is you, God, first and only.”

 

So, what does it mean to choose God? Let’s see what else David has to say in Psalm 16.

 

“Keep me safe, O God, I’ve run for dear life to you. I say to God, ‘Be my Lord!’ Without you, nothing makes sense.” Psalms 16:1-2

 

Years ago, I remember uttering my own variation of David’s prayer to God. At the time, I was wavering in my faith. I was indecisive.

 

I’d been studying variations of the Christian faith. I was searching, and as I looked, I became increasingly open to various ideas regarding spirituality. My openness resulted in what could be best described as ambivalence. I had no clear direction regarding who or what I believed in.

 

My pride would like to say it’s because I was thoughtful. I wanted to learn and know things. But the truth is––

 

I chose not to “run to God for dear life” because I was scared that He would fail me.

 

They say there is no hurt like church hurt, and I’d been shouldering my share. Unfortunately, that kind of experience can taint our expectations regarding God.

 

You too? Perhaps your hurt may not have been a church per se. The hurt may have come from someone who professed Christianity, but their practice of it was lacking. If that is the case, we can receive a tender message from God at the end of our verse from Psalms 16.

 

“My choice is you, God, first and only. And now I find I’m YOUR choice!” [Emphasis mine.]

 

When we decide that we are going to choose God, it’s like turning a key into a room full of treasure. 

 

We take a chance and say, “OK, God, I may not understand doctrine. I may have a bad taste in my mouth about religion. But I’m making the decision to put my faith in YOU. This isn’t about anyone or anything else. It’s about me deciding to run to You.”

 

When we make that choice, it doesn’t change how much God loves us. God loves us before, during, and after our choices. But that one decision will have ripples in our life. Every day, every moment that we choose Him, we discover all the ways that we are His choice. 

 

There’s a beautiful story in Brennan Manning’s book “The Ragamuffin Gospel.” It illustrates the beauty of this kind of choice. 

 

In 1982 Manning moved from Florida to New Orleans. Upon moving there, he wanted to better understand the origins of the Christian faith in that part of the country. 

 

He discovered that the phrase “born again,” so often used in Christian culture, was non-existent 100 years prior. Instead, when a believer would describe their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, they would say, “I was seized by the power of a great affection.” This discovery is an integral part of the story he shared that I’m about to share with you.

 

It was now 1986, and Manning was privileged to spend time with an Amish family from Pennsylvania. The farm was owned by an 82-year-old widower. His 57-year-old daughter managed the farm. And the three younger children… Rachel-53 years old, Elam, 47 years old, and Sam- 45 years old, all had severe developmental delays. Elam’s delays were attributed to Down’s Syndrome. 

 

When Brennan Manning got out of his car, Elam saw him. He was so excited he dropped his pitchfork and ran his four-foot-tall, heavy frame toward his new friend. Then, from two feet away, he flung himself toward Brennan, wrapped his arms around his neck, his legs around Brennan’s waist, and kissed him on the lips with “fierce intensity for a full thirty seconds.” Manning was stunned and a bit self-conscious, but as quick as it happened, it was done. 

 

Later they all sat down for lunch. During which time, Manning accidentally slammed his elbow into Elam’s ribs. Elam didn’t wince. Didn’t groan. He simply began to weep like a two-year-old child.

 

But it was Elam’s next move that completely undid Brennan. Elam came to Brennan, planted himself on his lap, and kissed him even harder on the lips. And then he kissed his eyes, nose, forehead, and cheeks. And there sat Brennan, dazed, dumbstruck, weeping, and suddenly “seized by the power of great affection.” 

 

Manning concludes his story with this, “…Elam was an icon of Jesus Christ. Because, at that moment, his love for me did not stem from any attractiveness or lovability of mine. It was not conditioned by any response on my part. Elam loved me whether I was kind or unkind, pleasant or nasty.”

 

God loves us. The minute we decide to receive it, our eyes are open. We see (and feel) the kisses on our eyes, nose, forehead, and lips.

 

This power of great affection affirms our simple choice to “choose God.” But not only does it affirm. It daily confirms. 

 

Our daily choice to believe translates into a daily choice to receive.

 

Kisses…

On the nose.

On the forehead.

On the eyes.

On the lips. 

 

No more shillyshally. No more dillydally.

 

May we choose You, God, so that our eyes are opened to the truth that You have chosen us.

 

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