You never realize how many choices we make on a day to day basis until you’re standing in the toothpaste isle with over 50 options to choose from. Let alone pumpkin picking season, where you’re lost in a pumpkin patch among hundreds of identical pumpkins and you have to make a decision. Recently my sister was picking out a pumpkin for me and gave me about a dozen options of pumpkin types to choose from. I ended up getting frustrated and just saying, “Choose one!” so that I didn’t have to.
These are just the small choices we have to make. As I get older I realize how many other decisions there are, ones that will more than likely change the trajectory of our life. People have to choose colleges, jobs, friends, spouses, how many kids they want, if they want to go through chemo or not, or whether or not to pull the plug for a family member on life support. How in the world are we supposed to make these decision when we can’t even choose what toothpaste we want after dozens of years of choosing toothpaste?!
When I was in Swaziland over the summer, there was one couple that stood out to me above all the others. They were an older couple- which was rare in itself- that I met while treating the group that had disabilities preventing them from getting through the line like the rest of the Swazis. She seemed like she didn’t have many problems, but he was missing both legs. There wasn’t a moment that she wasn’t by his side, but there also wasn’t a moment where she didn’t look at him with a look of consuming love and awe. And he did the same. I suppose the reason I was taken back by this was the fact that she had to choose him on a daily basis. She had to wake up and decide that she would choose him past the disability, past the hardship, and past the effects that disability would present- and she did.
We make all these choices, but the hardest choice- atleast for me- is choosing people. I have this double edged compulsion to either choose everyone or no-one. Mostly because choosing everyone in the end makes me feel like I should’ve chosen no-one. And on the flip side of that, an equally as great compulsion that I shouldn’t be chosen either. Either their “disabilities” or mine convince me that curling up in a ball would be the better option in both cases.
There’s this concept in the Bible that makes it all the more confusing. From the very beginning, God said that before the creation of the world, He chose us for a purpose (Eph 1:4).
Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
What?! I can’t see myself as anything worth being chosen, but this King, this Almighty Holy Father knew and chose me before there was a me. He spoke beauty over me before I had the chance to tear that blanket of truth off. I’m crippled with fear at chosing someone else, but He already said they are worth choosing. He already used his Son to pave the road to teach us how to fight for people who are trembling with guilt, fear, and anger, and tell them they are worth it.
This world is quite the pumpkin patch. It’s messy, it’s dirty, yet somehow we find ourselves standing in the middle of it. It’s full of twisted vines that produce pumpkins of all demeanors. Some of them may be rotting, some of them may be missing key parts of what make them a pumpkin. But they are TREASURES. You are VALUED. We were CHOSEN before we even began growing off the vine. We were CALLED out of darkness into light- a light that tells us who we are in the midst of all of our ugly and all of our bruises.
We get the opportunity to choose also. There are hundreds of unpicked pumpkins who have been sitting and rotting after someone somewhere made them feel like they weren’t worth it. So pick them up, dust them off, CHOOSE them, and show them they are absolutely worth the choice. Sometime moving past the fear of choosing the wrong pumpkin can unconventionally bring us to one that makes us see our beauty as well.