When I decided to choose Obedience, I failed to account the possibility that Obedience would not choose me.
When I was 14, and Authority told me to do my homework, Disobedience led me to say “no”, and hide out in my room to read magazines instead. Instead of occupying myself with algebra, I lost myself in the lives of musicians I would never know but adored for their shiny hair and raccoon eyes.
When I was 16, Disobedience taught me to tell my parents I had extra classes after school when in truth, I was off to see the latest Pirates movie.
When I was 19, it taught me to conceal my lifestyle. The “stay-overs with my girlfriends” were half-truths to the meagre amounts of sleep we got in the hours following our drinking and dancing escapades.
At 21, I experienced forgiveness. Freedom from the weight of my lies, sharp words and violent anger.
And at 22, I chose Obedience.
But Obedience did not choose me.
You see, even when you’ve come to the resolution and acknowledged that change is necessary, it doesn’t necessarily make that change is easy. When I made the decision to actively love, to forgive, to respect and to honour the people that God placed in my life, I failed to account in the countless hours I would spend deciding if I should pursue things with that cute non-christian boy, if that I-am-so-stressed-I-want-a-cigarette craving was justifiable, if I had the right to yell at my mom who was nagging at me till my ears felt like they were bleeding. When I turned my eyes back to the cross, I thought Obedience would scamper after me like a puppy, not hiss and run away like a timid cat.
The deal with choosing the straight and narrow path is that it is just that – narrow. To put things into perspective, imagine that it’s not a paved ground walkway, but a beam in between 100-story buildings, and you’re walking across it in a windy thunderstorm. That’s how it sometimes feels to walk the straight and narrow. Oh, and I have terrible balance.
You see, our generation grew up with the carpe diems and YOLOs, lines created with the intention of encouraging us to live, but like most things given to the world, got abused as an excuse to live without standards. In our attempts to “be ourselves”, “living our lives the way we want” and “seizing the day”, we hurt those around us and compromised on Godly standards that hurt us in ways we would have to bear with forever as adults. We became to preoccupied with living in the now that we forgot the importance of the future.
We became short sighted. We began to act stupidly.
I don’t struggle as much with Authority now, by His grace I’ve learnt to willingly submit to it. Deceit still trails me, though, tells me that I can get around things. It’s technically obedience if the teacher doesn’t find out that I reused my paper from another module. It’s technically obedience if coach doesn’t know I skipped training when he was overseas. It’s technically obedience if mom doesn’t know that I went out one place though I said I was at another.
But Technical Obedience is not what I chose. When I chose Obedience, I chose it with the intention of honoring Authority that God placed in my life, and with the intention of teaching my heart to yield. To do what is right out of compliance and love instead of fear and obligation.
Obedience has yet to embrace me, but I will continue to run to it.