Choice is Not Always Freedom

Often we confuse choice with freedom. In today’s modern world, there is no shortage of choice. We pay for cable T.V. just to be bombarded by choice. Malls and department stores are jam-packed with sizes, colors, styles, and brands. Our grocery store aisles are stocked tight with a multitude of options—fat-free, low fat, gluten-free, non-trans fat, vitamin-packed, organic—if you can dream it, they most likely have it. 

However, this “freedom” of choice can lead to fragmentation, saturation, overload, and burnout. We flip the channel at a commercial break because we don’t want to miss anything else going on. We read several books at a time. We surf the net. We buy more shoes, clothes, or furniture— not because we necessarily need them, but we can, and our neighbors already have. There is too much to do, too much to see, too much to read, and too much to follow up on. Every choice leads to the anxiety of “Should we or shouldn’t we,” and if we do, then what? All of this leads to an unfocused, chaotic life. 

But, what if there was only one choice, and once made, everything else would fall into place. And what if, instead of your choosing, you were chosen? When it comes down to it, Christians know that they are not their own and that, in fact, they belong to someone else. And this understanding organizes the chaotic and gives a central storyline from which to work. We have a purpose and a singular focus. We know where we are going and how to get there. When we’re Christian, there is no other choice but God. And to me, that is more freedom than a whole menu of different possibilities. 

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