“Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you…into something a little different from what it was before.” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Divided Heart

Recently, I have had a divided heart. A choice that becomes a defining moment.

I value my relationships and friendships. But I also value keeping myself and my family safe.

 Why must these two values war against one another?

 I live in a culture where a mask is seen as a hindrance to a close relationship. Instead of a symbol of respect for another’s health, it is seen as wanting more than just physical distance from others.

After being cloistered for weeks, this is far from the truth. It frustrates me to be seen in such a light. 

So what can I do: take off the mask?

When I take off the mask, others see me as physically approachable. They move back to our culture’s previous norm: a two feet distance!

Health experts have clearly stated that in order to defend against the virus, you must do your part by keeping a 6’ distance. The emphasis put in place for those who have underlying health conditions or are responsible for those with health conditions.

My own health would warrant caution, but I also have a 90 year old mother in assisted living. Visiting her from a distance right now, requires I distance from others for her safety, and those she lives with: not an easy task. 

Also our family will welcome a new baby boy to the family this month. I don’t want to miss that event because I am sick!

Being friendly and connecting with others is part of my extroverted nature, but I also want to keep my vulnerable body and my family safe. 

I’m not sick.

The reaction I seem to get from others when I wear a mask is: “I’m not sick.”

I believe you. But do you know for certain that you are not a carrier?

Unfortunately, in our culture the mask is seen as worn only in dangerous environments or by gangs in a bad guy movie. Rather than as a symbol of caring.

For me, it’s not a question of following the guidelines laid out by health authorities. After all, I sheltered in place BEFORE it was required because I have family in China…I knew what was coming. I didn’t need someone else in authority telling how to take care of myself and my family.

Instead, I pray. I go to the source of Wisdom to know what to do…for my life.

Ya, but…

The Lord has clearly told me, “Wear a mask”: a defining moment for me. Why?

Because I find myself saying, “Ya, but” to God!

         “Ya, but no one else…”

         “Ya, but I want…”

         “Ya, but just this once…I need a hug!”

He tells me, “Diana, it’s a test. Will you listen to me or not? This is a small test of peer pressure. There is more to come. They will increase with intensity.

More defining moments?

I am reminded of instances in my past where peer pressure was a defining moment.

The first time, I was twelve. A group of us were at a party and someone got the brilliant idea of going out and getting into some mischief. As we crossed the JC Penny parking lot, I watched as others crossed the concrete car bumper. I stood on the bummer knowing, 

“If you step down and follow you will be making the first decision in a string of decisions that will challenge your integrity.”

 I turned around and went home.

That incident was only the beginning of more defining moments.  I have lost jobs because of my unwillingness to compromise my integrity.

The question for me is: Will I listen to God or will I continue to “ya, but” Him?

The choice is simple: I must walk in obedience. Choose an undivided heart and Peace. I must “in the central part of” me be true to what I know I have been told to do.

Challenge

What about you? Have you had defining moments? Moments in which you find yourself wrestling with choices you never dreamed you would have to make, as you rejoin society? I realize right now there are bigger issues than whether I ought to wear a mask or not.

Remember your values determine the decisions you make. When you do not live what you believe, what you value, you will find yourself with a divided heart.  Pray and ask God for wisdom in moving through your defining moment with Peace.

Scripture

“Give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name, I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.” Psalm 86:11-13 (NIV)

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

“Two are better than one…For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion…” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Further Reading

Defining Moments: When Choices Matter Most by Dan Schaeffer

Fork in the road? Read Ruth 1:1-18

Making Defining Moment Decisions with Others? Read  Daniel 3:13-30