I spent the first week of my August sabbatical caring for our young grandsons while their parents had a mini-vacation. Like most kids, four-year-old Jim’s food repertoire is pretty small and not necessarily super healthy. In response, I decided to see if I could coax him into trying different options.
Together, we came up with all the nutritious foods Jim would eat, and he could pick meal options and snacks off the list. (Much to his disappointment, Cheese Puffs weren’t included.) This plan worked well until the evening when Jim was tired of “how we do things at GrandMarnie’s house.” With great emphasis and solemnity, Jim announced at the dinner table, “I’m not happy with all these good options!”
The adults had a hard time not laughing at him, but oh, that proclamation struck a deep chord. So often I wave my arms at God and declare my displeasure at his good options.
Early in recovery, I hated the choices of going to a meeting, calling someone for support, or working one of the Steps. I rebelled at the good alternative of trusting God and connecting with safe women instead of running to an affair partner.
When I was concentrating on the co-addictive/codependent side of recovery, I despised the challenge of focusing on myself instead of controlling or fixing someone else. I definitely wasn’t happy with the choice to endure the pain of watching a loved one experience the natural consequences of active addiction.
Still today when I feel betrayed, I want to fight back and defend myself instead of letting go. When I’m worried, I’m not interested in the option of trusting God instead of stewing over some situation. The pressure of heavy responsibilities triggers my preference for working harder instead of choosing rest. My list of preferred options goes on and on.
God, please help me learn to be happier with your good choices.
Marnie C. Ferree