An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core
by Rebecca on 2008-04-16
When I was roommates with Elizabeth, we would sometimes talk about our list of questions to ask God. The idea was that there are just some things about life that no one can explain except God, and we sometimes spend a whole lot of time trying to understand why our lives turn in a certain direction. The list of questions was our way of setting aside things that just didnʼt make sense, knowing that someday after weʼd died, God would be able to make it all come together if those questions hadnʼt been answered in our lifetimes. The list included things like, “What would life have been like if Iʼd gone to school at another university?” and “Where would I have gone on a mission?” My personal favorite was “Why didnʼt I get married until I was 57?” (As you can see, the list is a dynamic list, dependent on which questions hadnʼt been answered up until a certain point. That question is no longer relevant to me, so I need to find a new question to ask God, I suppose.)
Now, Iʼm reading Chronicles of Narnia for the first time. You might say that my youth was somewhat misspent, since I didnʼt read them when I was a kid. But in reading them now, I appreciate them much more than I probably wouldʼve as a kid. So, itʼs worked out well. Anyway, one of the recurring motifs in the Narnia tales is that a particular character will make a certain choice for good or bad and then have the chance to discuss that choice with Aslan the lion. That character inevitably asks, “What wouldʼve happened if I had made a different choice?” And Aslan in his wisdom says, essentially, “No one gets to see what would have been. You have to live with your choice.”
Iʼve been thinking about what the takeaway message is here. I keep remembering my list of questions to ask God, and Iʼve realized that my questions are all “what wouldʼve happened if Iʼd made this choice”-type questions. Aslan would probably have tired quickly of my list, since I apparently havenʼt learned to live confident in my choices. Wisdom comes from learning to make correct choices and when we make bad choices, we should try to learn from those experiences, painful though it is.
And also, I think itʼd be silly to waste my time asking God questions about what wouldʼve been, when I could be asking, “Teach me how to have greater faith” or “Help me understand what I can learn from the experiences that Iʼve had in my life.” So, I guess I still have a lot to learn about this funny little game that we call “Life.”