“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life…” – Dt. 30:19
It sometimes seems like a cruel trick that God gives us the freedom to choose our own demise. We are created with our particular gifts and talents but also our tendencies to certain addictions. Some of the more obvious addictions includes alcohol, drugs, sex, and work, but even the lesser, insidious ones erode our spirit and sense of freedom. Further, there are things that we become addicted to that in themselves are good and beautiful, but we are inordinately attached to them because we perceive them filling a void within us.
Ultimately it is only God who can fill that void, a void that yearns and aches because of its vastness. I struggle with choosing God to fill that emptiness over my attachments because God is less tangible and less immediate. The need to satiate my physical senses trumps my ability to listen with my heart to God’s gentle whisper and to put myself in the quiet presence of God. Why can’t God make Himself more obvious so that it would be impossible to choose anything over Him? I think because if God was before me with perfect clarity, my love for God would be more of a reflex and a reaction rather than an act of choice. If my choosing God is done with authenticity, it would have to be a free choice over and against those other things which I found an attraction.
The author Gerald May wrote, “God creates us for love and freedom, attachment hinders us, and grace is necessary for salvation.” Choosing life/love/God over my attachments can feel like a tall order, but it is my faith that because God placed within me a desire for Him, He will tenderly guide me to the fulfillment of my deepest desire through the graces He generously bestows.
Dear Jesus, I praise you because I am wonderfully made. See that I follow not the wrong path and lead me in the path of life eternal. - Ps. 139