What Choice Do We Have?
Now, if I had known anything about the place then, I'd have made a different decision. But my ignorance had me going in a direction that was less concerned with the environment and more with the waste of time and gas. I told her I wish she’d let me know before because I could’ve gotten a ride back with someone and she wouldn’t have had to come all this way, but I could go anywhere. I told her I don’t know what kind of food they’ve got but if that’s where she wants to go I’m fine with it.
Did I mention SHE chose the place? I want to make that abundantly clear at the outset.
The only thing I knew about the phrase “Twin Peaks” is a strange 80’s/90’s TV show of the same name that used to be popular but I never saw. I assumed the restaurant was thematically tied to the show. It was NOT. Despite my amazing ribeye steak, I suspect that people who say they go there for the meat are trying to be just as sly as those who say they go to Hooters for the wings.
Scenic views indeed.
We should have known, but we were naïve. We were a tad surprised by the “scenic views” our eyes avoided—I was a little too embarrassed to leave, I didn’t want to be insulting to the hostesses and waitresses, and the kids were more enamored with all the TVs. Call me a prude or a legalist if you will, but I don’t see any area with a Twin Peaks restaurant as so economically strapped that this is the only choice for employment. I also cannot fault anyone for making that choice, though (as a daddy of a daughter) I have a heart-cry of hope that they would move on to something else as soon as possible. I also struggle to understand those who know what the restaurant is about actually seeing those they serve as people with stories and parents and kids and... as people made in the image of God.
We are a hard-hearted people. Even as I say that, I know that valuing ourselves as "soft-hearted individuals" who love others will also find us being hard-hearted in another way. We are so quick to chose a morality and "way" that suits us, while forsaking the truth of the God who made us. We forget Him and deny His ways––that is, until our own ways come back to bite us. We return to God angrily, with the condemnation that He is not good to allow the consequences of our ways to befall us.
My favorite comedian, Brian Regan, has a bit where he's imitating the passionate retelling of a monster truck driver's problems on the track. He says at one point, "What choice did you have?! NONE!" In context, it's a funny bit. Hilarious even, I guess, the more engrossed you are in the sport (or perhaps your own ignorance of vehicles). But what about when you're considering the choices you make each day. Do we have a choice? Are we free to decide for the left or the right, to go one direction over another?
I believe we do, and that choice is given to us throughout the pages of the Bible. Consider Deuteronomy 11:
26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lordyour God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.
The blessing the text provides is in walking with the Lord; the curse is in turning away from the Lord. It's that simple. Yet such a decision can seem so hard. Do we really have a choice? These twin peaks in the Word are divided by a valley where the people of God stood and were told to choose. Choose which one to stand on. Of course, all the people weren't told to live there the rest of their lives, but the imagery of making a conscious choice for good or evil ahead of time was powerful. This is the same message we're given on every page of scripture. But as it pertains to the subject at hand, think about the words of Job in Chapter 31, verse 1:
"I have made a covenant with my eyes;
How then could I gaze at a virgin?"
The focus isn't on virginity, but guarding yourself.
Choose Before The Fight
—We see someone attractive but rather than choosing to appreciate and look away, we linger. Then we excuse ourselves by saying, “it’s okay to look, but don’t touch.”
—We are intentionally flirtatious with little glances or brushes with unfaithfulness to another, or treat ourselves and them as “free” if neither of us are attached. We excuse our actions by thinking, “it’s okay to touch, but not to go further than a little harmless fun. We’re not hurting anyone.”
—We encourage secret, hidden advances with another because this meets a need not being met elsewhere. We excuse it by thinking, “it’s okay to do this because I’ve been missing out here and God wants us to be happy.”
The plague of divorce that checkers this country is devastating. The ambivalence with which we approach the problem is deplorable. But the tools we have to combat this plague are divinely powerful for demolishing strongholds.