Michael and I celebrated our 12th anniversary on March 21 with an overnight trip to a ski resort called Peek’n Peak. I had never snow skied before, but picked it up fast and decided it was one of my new favorite things to do. What I picked up quickly skiing-wise, I lacked terribly when it came to getting onto the lift. Each time the lift seat swung around, I plopped down frantically like a grade-schooler trying desperately to win a game of musical chairs.
As I pondered my ski-lift struggles during one ride to the top, my embarrassment was highjacked by the 90s music blaring from the ski resort’s speakers.
I know who I want to take me home…
Semisonic’s now-nostalgic hit song “Closing Time” bellowed. It was then that my human ponderings were invaded by a divine whisper. Skiing might now be on the list of “one of my favorite things,” but at the very top is hearing God’s voice in the middle something secular and ordinary. When He speaks something so simple yet so profound, and my frail humanity in all it’s brokenness is invited to the table with His divinity in all it’s fullness.
There is nothing quite like it. Maybe I cherish it so much because I once believed it was a privilege reserved only for the chaste and churched, people so unlike me. Now I know I was one of the ones He came for. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
During this particular moment on the ski lift hearing that familiar tune, I felt Him say “everyone wants to be chosen.” There is such an ache within us to be chosen— it’s woven into the core of who we are.
Do you remember elementary gym class when two captains picked teams and you’d pray you weren’t the last poor soul left standing? Or when a “cool kid” handed out party invitations and you desperately hoped to be included? How about when school dances came around and you’d dream of your crush asking you to be his date?
Can you recall the stinging pain of rejection that accompanies such memories? I can. If being chosen is a core desire, being rejected is a debilitating fear. Like Semisonic, we all know who we want to take us home. We want someone to choose us and give our hearts a safe place to land.
After God spoke that simple truth, I thought of all the songs, movies and art expressing this core desire. I thought about how much of ourselves we spend becoming a “desirable choice.”
What also became clear is how unnecessary all of this is toiling is. The mere fact of our existence tells us that we were already chosen. When I had our first two babies, I was riddled with anxiety. Anytime I left them with someone else, I would worry about them and have “worst-case scenarios” flashing through my mind. As I was praying about it one day, I heard the Lord say “Did you ever think you would have a blond-haired, blue-eyed son?” Considering my husband and I both have dark hair and eyes and so do our parents, the answer was no. However, our oldest child was as blonde as can be with beautiful blue eyes. I felt God continue “Zaiden was my idea. I will take care of him.”
This revelation broke me of so much fear and anxiety but it also highlighted something else: The fact that God chooses us. He chose our eyes and our hair. He chose to create US specifically so that He could care for us as an object of His affection.
So often, we fail to believe it and in turn fail to receive the fulfillment that comes from being chosen. Many times, we can’t connect with this truth because we haven’t chosen ourselves. We’ve abandoned ourselves to be more desirable to others, or to fit in with what society calls acceptable. The disconnection this creates blocks us from receiving what we need from the Lord– what He’s so eager to give us. We belong in Him. To strive and pretend and to “play the game” in order to belong somewhere else is futile and soul-crushing.
It’s time we go on the journey of taking ourselves home to our place in God’s heart where His acceptance of us becomes our acceptance of ourselves. This is where true peace, joy and love can thrive.
I know who I want to take me home. I want ME to take me home because home is where God’s love and acceptance defines all that I am. How about you?