Choice or no choice

Friday afternoon 3:45 pm. I settled down again in the swimming pool canteen. I can follow my youngest’s swimming lessons on the screen. I have come to enjoy these moments. An hour alone with a cup of coffee. Sometimes I take something with me to read, but most of the time I just see what’s happening around me and let my thoughts wander.

No choice
My youngest, who now swims, didn’t feel like taking swimming lessons. In the car he said: ‘I choose not to swim’. I thought it was quite a powerful statement for a six-year-old boy, but unfortunately for him he didn’t have much choice today. My older two children had to go to the dental hygienist this afternoon. After a long discussion about whether it was really necessary, they also set off reluctantly. What unlucky people today…

My thoughts shift from my own family to the children from Ukraine. On the run, in a foreign country, in a reception camp… If there is anything that affects me, it is injustice done to children. A child should be able to play happily. Carefree and free. Just being a child. And these children now have no choice. Just ended up in a war. Those are just unlucky people.

It’s unbelievable what people can do to each other. It is timeless and inherent to the consequences of the Fall, but now that it is so close, it hits home again and I pray just a little more often: ‘Lord, let your Kingdom come quickly!’ At the same time I wonder; what can I do? Now what does it mean to do justice? Some of my colleagues picked up refugees at the border. Our full-time school students collected so much stuff that an extra truck had to be deployed to take the stuff away. God also asks us to do justice. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. What exactly does that mean for me? For you?

I believe this is different for everyone. While for one person it means picking up refugees at the border, for another it means caring for someone nearby who is having a hard time. Or standing up for a friend at school. And although what you do may feel like a drop in the ocean; that is not true! What you do is precious and valuable to God. Unlike the children, we do have a choice. A choice to do the right thing. Even though it may require a sacrifice from you and even though it is not always fun. There is always opportunity to do justice. In large and small.

Psalm 10
How grateful I am for my kids and I smile at their little problems. What a blessing that they are concerned about swimming lessons or the dental hygienist. What a contrast with the fear of bombs on your house. They still have a lesson to learn, I feel a nice conversation coming tonight. Not that I understand it all myself, there are plenty of questions. But Psalm 10 is worth reading again. Why? You can discover that for yourself. I have to run to the locker room. Swimming lessons and with that my thinking (and in this case sharing) moment is over.

About Dieteke Visser

Moeder van drie schatten, onderwijs manager bij Royal Mission en daarnaast samen met haar man René actief voor de bloei van de wijken van Nederland met stichting R3NEW.

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