A Fourth Grade Thought Dispelled

A simple choice is not so simple.
Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? I always cheated.
Here I am now, almost thirty and there’s no flipping back the pages.
So, I don’t think about it.
In those books there were no regular outcomes, no everyday living. Mostly you were poisoned, or robbed…the wrong choice. Be famous or die alone.
What page am I on now?
My fourth grade desk had laminate wood and cold wet metal. The book was hidden in my desk, between the bark and steel. Who can tell that child with the butterfly rhinestone glasses that life is more ordinary (if you are lucky)?
Drat. I’ve been shot in a dark alleyway. Return to page 25…
And here we are, my dear friend. And when I see her, I see childhood and swimming pools, and jean-shorts with skip-its around our legs. A person can be in two places at once when they have a first impression burned into their brain. I see you with your Blossom hats and golden curls, but you stand here, a different form now. Reality is invisible when you live in the past.
And here we are.
We are not Mozart. We are gifted, but not prodigies. And sometimes, when we see each other, we want to return to page 25. If we tried again, we might be rich and famous. Youth has the promise of blank pages, but we spend it being petrified.
Aren’t we all just hanging onto our page? Lost in white picket fences, and ordinary. Ordinary can seem like failure when you are trying to choose your own adventure. Perfection is poison to the gift of reality.
And now, for my next trick, I shall let go. Because He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. The price for page turning is murderous and fattening, but there is no choice that He cannot make new, because He makes beauty for ashes.
And when I think about it, I don’t really want to risk poisoning and gunfire to find the missing diamond.

“How can we break our heart’s fixation on doing ’some great thing’ in order to heal ourselves of our sense of inadequacy, in order to give our lives meaning? Only when we see what Jesus, our great Suffering Servant, has done for us will we finally understand why God’s salvation does not require us to do ’some great thing.’ We don’t have to do it, because Jesus has. . . . Jesus did it all for us, and he loves us — that is how we know our existence is justified. When we believe in what he accomplished for us with our minds, and when we are moved by what he did for us in our hearts, it begins to kill off the addiction, the need for success at all costs.”

– Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods

One thought on “A Fourth Grade Thought Dispelled

  1. Hi JoAnn, I've been away for a couple days, so I've missed your postings. Just read through them all. You paint some wonderful pictures with the stories you tell. Oh, and I found another thing we have in common: ALMOST being arrested in high school (for me more than once).
    But all that has been covered in the Blood of amazing grace. Happy Easter. P.S. I love your new banner.


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