My name is Mary … but I’m a Martha.

Not especially happy about that. But it just may be my nature. I’ve been a fretter since toddler days. Seems I’ve always worried about things and worked quite hard to try to understand — everything.

I think that was often an effort to push away fear. To delude myself into thinking if I understood something I could control it. That works okay when applied to plugging in a hairdryer, managing a clutch in a manual transmission car, or training your dog. But the practice doesn’t work well with the world in general. As Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes, trying to learn everything is like “grasping the wind.” [Eccl. 1:12, 17, 2:17, 26 NKJV]

He also mentions that “He who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” [Eccl 1:18 NKJV]

Yikes. How’s that for encouragement?

Well, here’s the encouragement: God has given us the gift of CHOICE.

As I prayed about what word He might want me to focus on this year, I considered LEAN, as in “lean into,” since I failed so often this year to WALK WITH Him moment by moment. I’d start the day staying close. But often when the day’s agenda became clear, I became like an arrow–shot in some direction and flying as I’d been launched. Evening would bring awareness that I missed some detours and side roads I’d been meant to travel. And God reminded me that I had the choice to continue that practice or change.

A dear friend, Carol King, used to talk about “double witness.” That when God chose to give you two or more versions of the same message at the same time, He wanted you to PAY ATTENTION.

Well, He gave me the point about CHOICE way more than twice in one day! One is a photo (which I can’t reproduce due to copyright, but you can see it on my FB page on Jan 1) saying “Your Call.” My devotional by Max Lucado has a section about “Today I choose …” and on Jan 1 he made the point if I choose to talk to God, God will always listen.  And — surprise! — today’s devo. is called “Chosen People.”

Duh. I think I get it. This year I’m aiming to remember that moment by moment, I have choices–about focusing on gratitude or grief, trusting or trying, resting in God’s care or running my own show. Any choices you are facing?