Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part that chooses, into something a little different than what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature. -C.S. Lewis
A friend of mine shared this quote with me a short time ago. I had to ponder it a bit. In some respects, I find it extraordinarily true. In other respects, a little too black and white, a little too simplistic. But mostly true.
I don’t necessarily know about the heavenly vs hellish dichotomy, but I absolutely, 100%’ly believe that our choices help form us, closing off some pathways that might have been present before. Opportunity cost, I think I recall learning in high school accounting or freshman college economics. The notion that there is a cost to choosing one thing over another, and that some choices close off other possibilities, maybe temporarily, maybe permanently. Of course circumstances beyond our control can have these effects, too, but the important thing to take away from the pondering of this quote, I think, is that we have some degree of self-determination in forming that central thing inside us, for better or worse. We have that responsibility and that power.
How am I choosing this day?
Heavenly, hellish, or some delightful intoxicating combo of saved and sinner? Hmm.
I’ve curtailed my church involvement quite a bit from say, the past 2-3 years ago. Part of it was God-led for a sabbath season of sorts from that particular type of ministry involvement. (Heavenly, you might say, and saying so with purity of heart, not a twinge of irony or sarcasm. Really, prayed over that decision, and it felt “right.”) Part of it was self-protective, and not just the innocent and beneficial stewardship of one’s time and energy. Nope, the unvarnished truth was some of it was defensive and walling myself away from hurt, whether actual or imagined…the heart doesn’t necessarily care sometimes about factuality and objective reality. (Hellish <sigh>) One ought to try though, I think, to be open to love and possibility and keep our walls to a minimum to live life to its fullest. Hmm.
I don’t feel the same naivete and optimism I once felt about the Church, and even life in general the way I used to. That’s disappointing to me, because I’ve always felt myself to be an optimist. I’m not sure I like that change to my central thing…it feels like a shift is happening. I think I should watch my choices a little more closely and with a sense of detached wonder and interest so I don’t find myself getting sucked into automatic reflexive decisions, instead of thoughtful choices.
How am I spending my opportunity costs now? I’m “wasting time” (in a certain sense!) and “playing” in an adult sense that works for me. Hellish or heavenly? Time will tell, but I happen to think more the latter than the former.
I’m playing video games. Yeah, video games!
I recently accepted an invitation from my elementary aged daughter to be part of a three-generation girl sleepover. Yup, my daughter, myself, and my mom all slept in the living room after making truffles, other snacks, and playing on the Wii.
I got Dance Dance Revolution to play and exercise. (it really is fun!!!)
I’m taking piano lessons. Yeah, me! I had a few when I was younger, so I’m not a complete beginner, and I was a pretty good trombonist in high school, but I LOVE the piano. It’s the kind of thing I can lose track of time while I’m at it. (in a good and holy way.) Oh, is this ever FUN!!! I’ve missed music and the tugs it makes on my soul… It feels good and right to be back at it.
This playfulness and wasting time is heavenly and hellish at differing times. And it’s changing my inner self. My central “thing.”
I believe God’s going to use it for good, who knows how. Let’s see how the next leg of this ol’ journey goes? ;)