It’s #FiveMinuteFriday when a gang of fearless writers around the world pitch in and write unedited for five minutes on a theme sent out by Lisa-Jo Baker. This week its ‘Willing’. Find out more at Five Minute Friday.
So there they stand, at the front of the church. White dress flowing beautifully, and a sharp suit standing next to her. Besotted, they are. And when the minister asks, ‘Do you take this woman?’, ‘this man?’ they both say, in turn, ‘I do.’
How about another scenario: the mail man shows up on your doorstep. ‘We have a package for you. You’ll need to sign for it.’ So you take the plastic pen and scratch an illegible mark on the handset thingy, and it’s yours. You hold the gift.
Now for a third scene: a nation stands on the brink of decision, its leader calling a convocation and setting his challenge. ‘Here’s the law of God. Here’s the promise. What will you choose, obedience and blessing, or to have your own way and suffer the curse? What will you choose?’ As one man, they choose to accept the rule of God.*
But here is my question, today: Why do I willingly say ‘yes’ to any of these things? Is it for my own sake, for what I will get out of the consent? Or is it for the sake of the other?
My willing ‘yes’ can be either a selfish demand, or a self-giving gift. It can be to take what I can get – ‘yes, I’m up for that, I’ll have the benefits!’, or to enter into a truly loving relationship – ‘yes, I’m up for this, for the joys of interaction, giving and receiving.’
Whether it’s a hugely significant life-event, or an every day normality… we can willingly say ‘yes’. The question is, why?
* Deut 30.19 ‘Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham Isaac and Jacob.”
Then some years later, Joshua had the same challenge, Josh 24.20-22, ‘The people answered Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!” “You are witnesses to your own decision,” Joshua said. “You have chosen to serve the Lord.”‘