Too many Easter eggs - which to choose?
Recently, I was giving a talk to 30 plus city workers in a meeting room in Sydney. I started with an unusual request – please take out your mobile phones and place them on the table. As expected, some but not all complied (they were city workers after all!) Then I asked everyone to call out the different mobile phones in the room and I wrote them on the board. Needless to say, there were many brands, models, variations – we even had a Nokia phone in the crowd!
This got me thinking – whether it’s Easter eggs on the supermarket shelves or mobile phones in our pockets – we are flooded with choices. By and large, we think this variety is a good thing. Actually, this is a point of pride, a sign of progress. Can you remember when all of us just owned Nokia’s and played snake to entertain ourselves? How boring were those days!
As these thoughts developed, I did what any person with a hunch does – I googled to see if I was the only one with this suspicion. As expected, I wasn’t (you mean someone else thought of this? No way!). But what I found was an article that sparked another train of thought.
Middle-class Americans born since World War II enjoy a range of possibilities that earlier generations couldn’t have dreamed of. I know that having choices is supposed to be a good thing. Certainly it’s an indication of living in comfort rather than poverty. But I, for one, am feeling a little overwhelmed.
I’m a pretty calm sort, and I try to make choices in an informed, deliberate way. But from simple decisions at the hardware store to bigger life questions, I’m often reeling from the sheer volume of options I face each day. In fact, many people I know are caught in a similar love/hate relationship with choices—revelling in all the opportunities available, but also feeling downright oppressed by them. (Emphasis added)
Are We Overwhelmed by Too Many Choices?
Does this resonate with you? I don’t think the “that’s just America” card flies here. It certainly applies to me as a Sydney city worker. Having choices is fantastic. However, when you have to decide, too many choices can become overwhelming and frustrating. The fear of missing out can take over. That this applies to both simple and bigger life questions was spot on.
Often, Jesus’ claim to be the way to God, the truth of God and the life from God is heard as being oppressive. The Easter message is dismissed before it is heard.
However, it is true that the plethora of religious choices in the burgeoning religious market can be equally oppressive. For some, the religious diversity before us is a sign of health. I wonder, for the earnest investigator, whether it’s just too complex, overwhelming and frustrating – where do I start? If God does exist, couldn’t he have made it a bit easier?
Heard in this light, perhaps Jesus’ decisive claim this Easter is precisely the breath of fresh air we need. Rather than be quickly dismissed, his claim is worth your hearing. And perhaps, you'll have one more reason to celebrate this Easter.
Photo by Marta Dzedyshko from Pexels