Devotion #12: Paris & Romeo – Thou Shalt Not Settle?

I thought about Juliet some more. I wondered what she would have done if Romeo had left her, not because he was banished, but because he lost interest?…

I wonder if she would have married Paris in the end, just to please her parents, to keep the peace….But then, the story didn’t say much about Paris.

What if there were more to Paris? What if Paris had been Juliet’s friend? Her very best friend?…

If Romeo was really gone, never coming back, would it have mattered whether or not Juliet had taken Paris up on his offer? Maybe she should have tried to settle into the leftover scraps of life that were left behind….

Wouldn’t Edward, indifferent as he might be, want me to be as happy as was possible under the circumstances?

Jake pressed his warm cheek against the top of my hair. If I turned my face to the side—if I pressed my lips against his bare shoulder…I knew without any doubt exactly what would follow. It would be very easy. There would be no need for explanations tonight.

But could I do it? Could I betray my absent heart to save my pathetic life?
New Moon – Chapter 16

In this passage, Bella says she isn’t settling, that Jacob is “much too good for her,” but that’s just the brokenness talking. Bella is seriously considering settling. Now, let me define settling. It’s become synonymous with the image of the ugly step-sisters being contrasted with Cinderella: one’s the good choice, the other will make you miserable. But the choices presented aren’t always this stark. Sometimes settling doesn’t mean choosing one obviously poor choice over an ideal option. Going further, settling doesn’t mean your object is inferior or defective. Not all the time.

Sometimes settling is as simple as taking the easy way or a shortcut when you know you’re meant to go the distance. Settling can mean averting your eyes from the grand prize to a lesser one, because you don’t dare to hope that you could actually win it.

Generally, settling means choosing a lesser good. That’s all it is. That doesn’t sound so bad, now does it? The lesser good.

It sounds like something you could be happy with. A generic brand of happiness, instead of the name brand. Afterall, it doesn’t cost as much, is in abundant supply, and doesn’t require you to wait.

I say this, not because I am actually trying to defend the act of settling. I say all of this to recreate the sound you hear in your ears whenever you are tempted to settle. This is what we tell ourselves. When faced with ease, security, a buy-out, or an easy-win, it becomes very attractive to simply cash-out and minimize our losses. We don’t want to be exposed to the downside if our name-brand choice eludes us.

Just like Bella.

Jacob is an ideal second choice. He’s a truly good choice. As a matter of fact, if she hadn’t met Edward, Jacob would have been her first choice.

I think that’s the essence of what whispers to us when we are tempted to let go of our first love, our hearts’ passion, or our life-long dream.

I do think there are times when we need to move on, and the Lord illuminates those to us when they arrive. But more often than moving on, I think we need to hang on a little longer. Afterall, we never know when Carlisle’s mercedes will show up in our driveway. We don’t know what plans have been set into motion, that if we had only waited, would turn our world rightside-up again.

What is whispering to you? What is tempting you to turn your head, and allow what is easy to follow?

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~ by sarahthebaker on January 28, 2010.

One Response to “Devotion #12: Paris & Romeo – Thou Shalt Not Settle?”

  1. Such good thoughts! And such a good challenge! Thanks, Sarah!

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