What about Jacob? What was I going to do about him? My former best friend who was now…what? My enemy? I cringed.
It was a dilemma I was already struggling with. My friends. People who, for their own safety, I would never be able to see again after graduation.
So what was the best course of action? Spend time with them while I could? Or start the separation now to make it more gradual? I quailed at the idea of the second option.
“…particularly Jacob,” Charlie added….
A greater dilemma than the first. It took me a moment to find the right words. “Jacob might be…difficult.”
“A conflict about the friendship thing, I mean. Friendship doesn’t always seem to be enough for Jake.”
…”Congratulations,” he said…. “Your first [college] acceptance.”
“I’m not going along with that [Edward]. I have to see Jacob.”
“Then I’ll have to stop you.”
“We’ll see about that,” I bluffed…..
Eclipse – Chapter 1
When we start the first chapter of Eclipse, the theme of choices is immediately clear. Bella has many different voices advising her, a lot of decisions to make, and a lot of things tugging at her. What will she do with her life? Will she choose to remain human? Will she choose to wait and go to college? Will she try to keep her friends in her life? Will she seek out Jacob? Will she marry Edward?
Naturally speaking, this is indicative of Bella’s age: she’s 18. She’d be making several of these decisions just by where she is in life. She’s just starting out, and many of these choices are reflective of her priorities, which are still taking shape: friends, family, love, school, career. What’s the most important, and which comes first?
But if you look at these themes spiritually, there’s a lot more going on:
She’s just now beginning to count the cost of her early decision to become immortal and choose Edward forever.
In choosing him, she’ll have to give up everything else. And until now, she’s not realized how hard and painful that actually will be.
In choosing Jacob, she’ll enjoy every human experience and not have to give up a single thing—except Edward and his family.
Bella can’t have both, and so she must choose.
In a nutshell, it’s a contrast between choosing what is known, safe, and comfortable to our flesh, or choosing what our spirit wants and needs to live forever.
34“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
” ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law –
36a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’[e]
37“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:34-38).
It also reminds me of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus and said “Jesus, I’ll follow you anywhere…What do you want me to do?” Jesus—as usual—knew exactly what to ask of him: “Sell all you have and come follow me.” The passage says that the man went away “discouraged.” He couldn’t make that choice. He couldn’t give it up.
Oh, but if he only comprehended what he would have gained!
And so often, God returns to us more than we give, even in tangible riches. Even more, He just wants to know that He’s number one in our lives. He offers us all things, and so He first requires the same of us. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
But to choose, we must first know fully what it is we are choosing. And through much difficulty, that is what Bella will learn in Eclipse.
What choice will she make? What choice will you make? Will we chase Jacob, or say “yes” to Edward?