The Choice Explosion

The other day I was looking at an old photograph, and reminiscing with a couple of my folks about how that picture would’ve been taken. Back in the days, when taking photographs was a more expensive and emotionally draining affair- you pose/ are made to pose, then click carefully, you’re not sure if the photo has come out right or if you blinked or if you didn’t smile well enough or if there was some food in between your teeth – and when your dad goes to the studio to get it processed and printed, you’re waiting by the telephone at home for that call from the studio accusing you of having wasted one click! Because you shook or had not focussed properly or closed your eyes and ruined a perfect picture or whatever- depending on whichever side of the camera you were on! Remember those days?? I see you smiling pal.

If you’re born before or in the’90s I’m pretty sure you would’ve all had your moments with ‘Fujifilms’ – as compared to today when we can click, multiple clicks, then erase, then edit and all that jazz before we decide on whether to print it out or just leave it on the hard disk- see that? The number of choices we get to make over a simple photograph in itself has increased- whether to click once more, whether to change positions and take again, whether to focus in or focus out, whether you want the background blurred or the foreground blurred, and so on.

We say we live in times of information explosion, of artificial intelligence explosions, population explosion and all kinds of explosions – but what we are knowingly or unknowingly being exposed to is also a choice explosion.

I was just wondering the other day, how complicated we’ve made our own lives out to be ! Now think of having dinner- simple everyday affair- – the choices begin with are we dining out or ordering in? You want continental or Chinese? Red gravy or no gravy? and so on, till we make that discovery for the upteenth time in our existence that actually, I don’t know man! I just want some food .

From these small billion choices to the bigger ones that define our lives, what do we do when we are bombarded with options and asked to choose?

I’ve been thinking about it for some time now- Crazy right?? Increasing the number of options has not made choosing any easier. It’s not simplified anybody’s lives, come to think of it! Please nod your head if you agree.

Somebody rightly said, one day of your life is the sum total of all the big and small choices that you make that day- right from what time you decide to wake up and so on. So that means your entire life is constituted by the sum total of the big and small choices that you make! That’s kinda scary. And it’s actually a big deal to choose well.

One of my professors the other day, while making fun of a colleague about not being married yet, told him, ‘Its okay if you take some time- but choose right and choose well. ‘ As we laughed and pulled his leg a little more, I realised the truth behind what she conveyed.

The small choices are a big deal- and they play a big role in the bigger choices. So as I was praying and pondering over this the other day- about the different choices I’ve to make as I stand at crossroads, this one thought was all that came to mind- there’s actually only one thing you need to choose, and it’s a daily choice- Choose today whom you will serve- the King who is your God, or the world and its demands? That quiet , still, comforting voice from above with that gentle prod on my heart. Choosing the former would mean surrendering my time, my work and my worship to Him….and all the smaller choices I make thereof. Choosing to serve Him would also mean my joy and my affirmation come from Him.

I chose the former, thereby the smaller choices that follow have become simpler, definitely not easier. And I choose that for today, for tomorrow, for every following day of my life.

How much are you weighed down by the choice explosion in your life?

Joshua 24:15

… choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (ESV)

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