What options have done for us in the global village today is more than laudable. However, there is something that options have done to us that may have forever changed what we desire, how we pursue it, and may have even changed who we are as people. This is not an unintended side-effect I am talking about. It is what gives very life and credence to options in the eyes of global villagers. Options, if unchecked as a way of life, put man in the center, demote God to just another option, and adversely affect all relationships with God and man. Whereas once Marx could erroneously say that religion was the opiate of the people, it is precisely because they elevate man to the center, that options have become the opiate of the people. And when an “option-ideology” goes beyond its proper place in the marketplace of products, and makes its way in to the realm of relationships, it drags with it the accompanying vices of fickleness, indecision, and ultimately brokenness. It is this relational aspect of an option-ideology I would like to highlight briefly, on two relational planes – the vertical and the horizontal.
First, and vertically speaking, the option-ideology has no place in our relationship with God. If the God of the Bible is who He says He is, there should be no option in our relating to Him. He is God: the Creator, the Almighty, the All-knowing, the Eternal One. But if we believe Him to be so, why then do many Christians, in our everyday practice, relate with Him as with options? In the case of the flight booking, when all you have is one flight and you absolutely need to go, is not the response one of desperation, and utter dependence on the one flight? Similarly, when relating with God, there must be a sense of desperation and utter dependence on Him to know that He is the center, and we are to revolve around Him. Now whether He is at the center of our lives or not, He remains the center of all things. But it seems that options have alleviated the need for us to be desperate and utterly dependent on Him, and we have consequently set up self as the center of our lives. When self is at center, God is ousted. But when dire circumstances become center we have no choice but to look to a higher power.
Copyright, 2013, Kenny Damara. This article is an excerpt from the book Divided Desire.