Have you seen The Last of the Mohicans? I watched it a long, long time ago. I was a young girl and it impacted me deeply. I don't remember a whole lot of it, but there is one scene that always comes back to me. It's the scene where the girl stands on the cliff. She has two options. Stand, and die a slow and painful death at the hands of evil. Or jump. I always wondered what I would do if I ever found myself in her position.
I have never been a brave person. I walk forward out of necessity, not choice. I make choices every day. I hate feeling out of control. But often I want decisions made for me. So I don't make the wrong choice. So I am not to blame. Stand, or jump? I am not sure which decision is braver. I'm not sure bravery is the point. We shouldn't have to choose out of those two options. We shouldn't have to. Yet this is the world. There are many things that shouldn't be.
Some days I like to hope that one day my life will make for an inspirational story. One that speaks of mercy, love, and grace. Other days I just lie in it. Unable to move. When a cloud passing over the sun feels like eternal darkness, where do you turn? Do you stand? Or jump.
It feels like a choice about the end. But in the end, the outcomes are the same, no? Because the choice isn't really about the end outcome. It's about the in-between. How we choose to spend it. When that is no longer a choice. When that is chosen for you. That is when the end becomes our focus. That is when the choice begins to feel like it's about the end. The end is inevitable. To focus there is to die before we are ready. Before we are really dead. And the living dead are the most frightening, aren't they?
I used to be unafraid of the end. If it's my time, it's my time. I would often say. Though I was no risk taker, I knew the end would be ok. That was before I found love, and made little people. Suddenly I was no longer on my own. I felt I had to live, for I was now a part of something more. I felt important and necessary for the well-being of others. But now I am starting to feel alone again.
Some wonder what it is I must have been through to bring me to this place. Or say, You have been through so much! I laugh at that. Have you seen this world? My life has no more than yours, or her's, or his. They say, Let me help you! Let me be there for you! But my burden is too much for them. And they are not enough for me. How can you help me? Only God can help me. And He has chosen to allow me here. So my choice is not stand or jump. I have only one option. The only one I am capable of. To wait.
I am not Yoda mind you. I do not sit calmly, palms raised, my awkward head all poised in meditation. I writhe and complain and ask why and ask how and I get angry. Sometimes I make jokes. Or pretend I have answers. Sometimes I lay down.
I used to let tears flow freely. Seriously, ask anyone. But now I conserve. I let the waves wash over me instead. Feeling soon I won't have the will to lift my head over them anymore. I say quietly to God. If you love me you will come for me. You will lift me from this place.
His answer is His choice. I will live and I will die with it. I've realized this is why I have never been capable of joining any one denomination. I can not say, "I commit to this church. This doctrine." Not because I can't make a choice. But because I can not trust in any one doctrine. And there is no such thing as "this" or "that" church. I can only trust one. The One who gives and takes away. I am not my own.