Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. We are finally having our kitchen redone. One drawer was broken. The door came off one cabinet and could not be put back on. The oven no longer worked. The color was worn off of the formica counters. Etc. So, we are redecorating. And at every turn, there are decisions. The appliances. Gas. Electric. Induction. Convection. The cabinets. The knobs for the cupboards. The counter tops. The style. The colors. The material. The light fixtures. Halogen. Compact fluorescent. LED. The size of the island. The shape of the island. The sinks. The faucets. I have looked at hundreds of faucets in person and on line. How do you choose? If there were three to pick from, I would have no problem. But there is so much of everything. And, thanks to the internet, it’s all available.
This is the case with so many things in our lives. We have more choices than any other generation before us. The diversity and range of our options can be a source of wonder and delight. It can also simply be overwhelming.
When we are overwhelmed with choices, we can shut down and do nothing. With so many church options, we can conclude, “I can’t decide where to go so I just won’t go.” We can take the path of least resistance. “That’s the closest store, so I’ll go there.” Even if it is more expensive, or won’t let the employees unionize, or isn’t part of the Fair Food agreement. We can simply go with the status quo. “All kids have video games, so I’ll let my kids have video games.” We can do what we have done in the past. “I’ve always owned a Ford, so I’m getting a new Ford.” We can simply join the crowd. “A majority of married people have affairs, so what’s wrong with a little fun on the side?”
The overload of options can lead us to act blindly and not be aware and thoughtful about what we are doing and the consequences. There are many references in the gospels to blindness and darkness. The message is not seeing clearly, not looking deeply, not living with ethical compassion.
There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that with more options, we have more opportunities to choose the good and to do what is right. The bad news is the number of choices and options we have will continue to expand.
Lectionary readings for today:
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Prayer: May we live deeply and thoughtfully guided by the compassionate spirit of Christ. Amen.