It has been a few weeks since I last blogged. The reason: I had nothing to say. It was as if, not only was I silent in terms of writing, but God also seemed silent. A friend texted and said, “Give yourself a moment for the Spirit to direct and the words will flow.” The inspiration flowed from two different sources.
I finished watching a movie on the Lifetime channel called Tiger Eyes about a young girl who had to deal with the sudden death of her father. At a certain point toward the end of the movie she wrote one word on a piece of paper: alive. Then the word from Deuteronomy 30:19 came to my mind: “Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.” Choose life!
When life is flowing on all cylinders it is easy to choose life. In fact, I do not think we intentionally choose life at that point, but rather life simply happens and we flow with it. When all is going well we are not intentional in our choice of life. It seems as if there is no choice, but rather life simply happens, happens for our benefit and our consolation.
But when darkness sets in, when the sun is blotted out with sadness, with grief, with loneliness, with troubles of many shades of gray then we are forced to choose. Then to choose life is an act of faith, a step of faith in the face of everything that opposes life, that saps life. When all seems bleak, it is not easy to choose life. The easier way is to remain in the darkness, to refuse to turn toward the light, to Life.
In the months following my wife Diane’s death I remember saying to myself, “I choose life,” but at that point I think I was simply trying to run from grief. It did not work, grief is to be experienced, not avoided. Now I think choosing life is a daily affair, with the words and the reality added to that volitional choice, “By the help of God, I choose life.”