January 5, 2022 - Candy Store

"Some worthless scoundrels gathered around him and opposed Rehoboam son of Solomon when he was young and indecisive and not strong enough to resist them." (2 Chr. 13:7 NIV)

When I was in Romania in 2005, I stayed with a pastor who had been confined and tortured on multiple occasions for being a follower of Jesus in a communist/socialistic country. He would often be abducted on his way home from the church, interrogated about other believers, and then dumped out in front of his house usually in the middle of the night or early morning.

I was walking with him in the salt mines a half a mile under the earth - the place where political prisoners went to die - and he told me that he had been to America once but didn't like it. I asked why. He said, "It is too difficult to make decisions. I went to the grocery store for a box of cereal and found that there were so many types and flavors that I was almost paralyzed. I couldn't make a decision. In Romania you have one, sometimes two choices. It's simple. I walked out of the store without any cereal and came home and had an egg - a white egg, not a brown egg, or an organic egg, or a free-range egg - an egg."

I certainly cannot empathize with my friend's abuse, but I can remember the paralysis of having 50 cents given by my grandma for the old IGA store down the street. Penny candy - bubble gum, taffy rolls. I can get a bag of that stuff. Or do I go with the big guns - Payday, or $100,000 bar, or Almond Joy, or Zagnut, (do they even sell that stuff anymore?), maybe the standard M & M's or Snickers? Lord, please don't let anybody come in and rush the decision. Pressure. Okay...just give me a comic book. But which one? Uhhhhhh.......

I feel a bit like that today. Paralyzed. Indecisive. Trying to figure out what to write as I begin the new year. Wondering if I should continue. Does it make a difference? Is it just another writing deadline that I can dump?

What do I write about? It's not that I don't have any ideas but rather too many. My world has not left me bereft.

It has, however, reminded me that there are stories to be told, stories to be kept, and stories that need to simmer. A walk in a salt mine taught me that.

Not once did my friend dwell on the past but joyfully looked to the future and was wondrously present in the moment. A quiet sense of what is important, of simplicity, of decisions that may not need an answer...today.

I will write what is on my heart, my wrestling of the day. And along the way...hopefully...bring some of my friends along for the journey. To enjoy a Zagnut bar or a Ripley's Believe It or Not ghost story or to laugh at Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny.

Thank you to all who encourage me to keep writing.

Have a blessed New Year!