"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." Romans 12:1-2, The Message
"Decisions. Decisions. Decisions." I can almost hear my mother saying this every time I am faced with a difficult decision. We have to make decisions everyday and of course, some are easier than others....
"What should I do today, pay bills or schedule my doctor's appointment? I will take care of the other one tomorrow."
"Should I mow the lawn first thing in the morning or just before sunset?"
Perhaps the most dreaded and very "first world" decision we make on a daily basis in the Adams household is "What should we have for dinner?" One family I know of, made the rule when their kids were small, that whoever asked the dinner question first, had to decide and make dinner for the whole family. For some reason, this idea never caught on in my household.
Although necessary, these decisions are relatively easy to make in the scheme of things and in many ways reflect my privilege as an educated middle class white American woman. However, over the last several months, American society has been faced with having to make more, harder decisions than normal, ones that put us outside of "ourselves" and thinking about the health and safety of others:
Concerts have been canceled for the foreseeable future.
The ability to travel to other countries has been paused, even traveling to other states might require a two-week quarantine before moving out and about at your destination - with the rising COVID numbers in Indiana, Hoosiers are now included on the list [in some states] to quarantine upon their arrival.
Some companies have shutdown, others have repurposed their work, and still others continue to employ their workers from home.
Church leaders, including elders, councils, and pastors are having to continuously pay attention to science, assess the numbers and make a difficult decision to keep the church's building doors closed, reopen, or come up with some type of hybrid.
Parents are faced with having to decide to send their kids to school or sign them up for e-learning. For parents of young children, children with special needs, and parents who have to work outside the home, these are especially difficult decisions.
School districts, colleges, and universities have worked tirelessly this summer on re-opening plans for the fall, only to postpone in-person class.
These examples are in no way comprehensive, but hopefully on some level reveal the complexity of decision making in our current society. These decisions require critical thinking that is, an objective analysis of the situation at hand in order to make well-informed decisions. These issues are not black and white. What might work for one person, family, organization, or church, might not work for another. This might be frustrating for some people, but if you ask me, that is the beauty of our humanity. God never intended for all of humankind to look the same and think the same way. Each one of us has a unique experience in this God-gifted life; and we need to respect that as we face the days ahead and the difficult decisions we will no doubt have to make. But most importantly, we need to trust that God is with each one of us, even and especially when we disagree.
In God's Grip,