Anyone remember Tim from Big Brother 3? He was the posh snobby one who dyed his allegedly ginger hair black. Well in quite a twisted fashion something he said has stuck with me for the past 5 years! I remember them having a discussion about money making you happy and he said, ‘Money doesn’t make you happy, but it gives you more choices and with choices you have the power to make yourself happy.’
This stuck with me because there is an element of worldly truth in there that seems to make sense of life. Nevertheless, what he says is fundamentally wrong Yet at times I have tried to use his principle to understand what goes on in the world and it has in fact eased my confusion temporarily. Overall, however, this theory has only confounded my emotional bewilderment with life.
I have proved through my own life that the more choices I have the more I screw things up. I am innately incapable of making the right decisions! Take this morning as an example:
Rada and Anya have gone to Sheffield so I have no immediate responsibilities. So what do I do? I choose to waste time watching CBBC! If Rada and Anya were here I would not have had as many choices this morning but I would have been more productive – I would have played with Anya, talked with Rada, done some housework, got up earlier…the choices are still there I guess but the consequences are more obvious so its easier to make the right ones. If I choose to watch kids TV all morning and Rada sees me that is just embarrassing so I won’t do it!
It was pretty dumb of me to take Tim’s comment as gospel because…well…it isn’t gospel! Nowhere will the Bible lead you to the conclusion that choices = peace. What is the truth? Well the truth is refreshingly baffling, perplexing, enigmatic and unfathomable. But I believe one facet of truth to leading a peaceful life is to have simplicity. i.e. not to have to make choices all the time, to have simple responsibilities that need immediate attention – to get food, to be clean, to spend time with family.
The world bombards us with choices but Jesus says, ‘come to me, all who are wearied and burdened, and I will give you rest.’ I don’t believe this means, ‘I will make life easy for you,’ but life doesn’t have to be so complicated! Although I am sometimes frustrated by my lack of freedom as a result of having a family so young I am sure that, in the long run, it shows how graceful God is in the face of all my failings. For one, it means that on Saturday mornings I don’t have to worry about what channel I’m gonna watch. My choice is simple, am I gonna spend time with my family, or not? I know which one is easy to choose!