What’s God’s trick question?

Melissa Harris

Everything comes down to one choice.

It’s not an arbitrary choice; it’s one you have to make. The no choice choice. Sounds funny but consider this: Once you understand the choice you have to make, and once you understand this is the only choice you have to make in life, and once you understand that everything, absolutely everything in life comes down to this choice, that’s it, you’ve got it, you know all you need to know about life and why you are here, and what life is about, and what you’re supposed to do, you know it all. No more mysteries of history or why is their evil in the world or why are people the way they are, none of that. If you want, you can ditch the books and the bibles and the sermons and the hymns and the philosophers and the wisdom of the ages.

Maybe it might be better if I said this: keep anything you want but keep it for the right reasons. Keep it because it’s beautiful, or it brings you closer to God or maybe you just like the ritual and the words. I’m not against all that. But life is much simpler than you think. Dead simple.

So what is it? What is the great choice we all have to make? I’m going to tell you, but don’t dismiss it as a cliche, because it is a cliche, but it is not trite. Not in any way.

A very good friend of mine told me for many years something that I heard a zillion times but just let it pass me by. Why? Because I was stuck in my head. I’m a New Yorker. The whole city is that way. Stuck in our heads. Walk down the street and tell me it’s not true.

My friend said we come from love and we’re all trying to get back to love. Oh man, that is such a beautiful thought. I can’t believe it took me years to understand what she was trying to teach me. We come from love, and we’re all trying to get back to love.

Love is one-half of the grand choice. Do you choose love? Every single authentic voice ever raised toward God asks that basic question. What is God? God is love. Simple. You don’t need to know anything else. Put that in your heart and keep it there and everything will turn out a-ok. You don’t even have to believe in God, and it’ll work out. All you need is love. Okay.
So what’s the other half of this choice I’m going on about? Every choice has to be either this or that, right? So what’s the other side of this whole thing?

All of life is a choice between love and fear.

That’s it. You either chose love or fear. You make that choice every single day. Love or fear.

There’s another part of this that resonates with me. Love is truth; truth is love. You can’t have truth and fear. It won’t work. Truth becomes lies in the face of fear. There’s one way to truth; there’s one way to God, peace, happiness and fulfillment. Love.

Okay, we know that, but now look at the world around you, listen to the speeches, consider the ideas and plans, the futures painted for all us, even the choice of words and how they make you feel. I guarantee you, the words that make you feel uncomfortable, or angry, or depressed, those words come from fear, not love.

What we’re going through right now is promotion of fear, isn’t it? But why? Why promote fear? Why would anyone choose fear over love?

It doesn’t matter. And there is the final piece of our puzzle. When you chose love, you gut the power of fear. Oh yes, all of life comes down to a choice between love or fear, but only a fool chooses fear. With love you are unbreakable, nothing can touch you. Stand in front of fear with love and fear destroys itself, blows itself up, crawls away toothless and useless.

It takes great courage to stand in front of fear with love. You have to be willing to die, but if it comes to that, you die for love, real love, if love is your choice and love is fully in your heart when you take your last breath, you will become powerful beyond imagining.

So the last thing I want to say is this entire piece has been a trick. I’ve been fooling with you, kind of. You have no choice at all. We come from love, and we’re trying to get back to love and fear won’t get you there. You can’t lie your way into heaven, folks! So what choice do you have? None! We just simplified life even more! Yay for us. But don’t even think about heaven or afterlife or anything like that, because we have our hands full here. This is a great test for all us. Every day of our lives. Do we choose love or do we choose fear? We have to make a choice. No chickening out.

The next time you find yourself hearing something that doesn’t feel right, or somebody is in your face, or threatening you, anything like that the first thing to do is get it straight in your head — did they choose love or fear? And if they chose fear and you chose love they can’t touch you. They can’t hurt you. They have no power over you. Wow. Like I said. There’s no choice at all, don’t you think? Pity the fear eaters and walk away. They’re going nowhere, their life is a misery, and you already made the right choice.