Secret Option C
I have long been a fan of Madeleine L’Engle. When I was a child, her novel A Wrinkle in Time rekindled my imagination at a critical time when it threatened to die out for good. And somewhere along the way I discovered that she wrote several books for adults as well. Reading these books continued to push the frontiers of faith and imagination for me like nothing else.
In a world of cut-and-dry, black-and-white, L’Engle brings a refreshing sense of open-mindedness. I have a lecture of hers on audio that I listen to frequently. In this talk she addresses the idea of either/or. In so many of our questions about life, we come to God and give him exactly two options: either/or.
This idea reminds us of Jesus’s interactions with people during his time on earth. Oftentimes the teachers of the law came to Jesus and tried to trip him up with an either/or question. Jesus wouldn’t play their game. Instead he would answer with a mind-blowing secret option C.
“Jesus! Is it this? Or is it that?”
And Jesus, as only Jesus could, would say something that seemed to be totally unrelated but actually answered the unspoken heart of the question.
In more situations than I can count, happily ever after has reared its ugly head as an either/or. I have this big decision weighing on me and there are exactly two ways it can go. It’s either this, or it’s that. One of these paths leads to happily ever after. The other? Well, it can only lead to a place where there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
And how many times does it actually end up being one or the other? Not very many. More often than not, I’ve found that if I do what I know to do and trust God with the rest, he’ll come through with that mind-blowing secret option C. That’s just how he rolls.
Now when I am faced with an either/or, before I decide, I try to look for a both/and. Do I have to decide? Is there a way to do both?
Do you have a decision in front of you today that seems like an either/or? What might a secret option C look like? How might God be offering another, creative answer?