She was supposed to throw the petals.
But as my granddaughter Isley walked down the aisle ahead of the bride, she held on to her basket of petals as if they were the most important possession she owned. There would be no scattering that day.
We had figured the third time was the charm. In her two-and-a-half-year life span, she’s been a flower girl three times. I won’t attest to the wisdom of this, but it is a fact. (There’s a reason brides often don’t want cute toddlers being flower girls. The tendency to steal a bit of the limelight is huge.)
Not only did she not throw petals. When she got to the front, she knew none of the bride’s or groom’s attendants–but she knew who was officiating. Her dad stood there, smiling and watching my new daughter-in-law come down the aisle.
Isley only saw a safe place.
She climbed onto the platform, clutching her basket of petals, and began a carefree celebration dance, right behind her dad–new dress, big girl cowboy boots, basket of petals and all.
She grabbed that limelight with both hands.
What was fascinating was Isley’s response the next day. When she woke up the next morning, she had to talk to her mom.
“I forgot to throw the petals.”
Anyone watching the wedding would have gathered that there was no forgetting involved. The iron-fisted grip on the basket, no move towards any petals, would have been the giveaway.
But she knew what she was supposed to do. And at some level, she really wanted to do that.
But she chose not to.
I have my own basket of petals.
There are so many times I know the right thing to do, but I choose not to do it. Not to be ornery or difficult. I just want things my way. Even in the midst of making that choice, I feel the nigglings of guilt.
The times I avoid answering a phone call because I don’t really feel like talking.
The times I cut corners doing something because I don’t have time or don’t see its value. Really, will anyone notice?
The little white lies I tell to avoid embarrassment or to get myself out of hot water.
Those are the little things.
“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway….I have discovered this principle of life–that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.” Romans 7:19, 21
This was Paul’s dilemma. A desire to do what was right. An inner drive to make really bad choices. Nothing new under the sun.
But we’ve not been left there.
“Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 7:24-25a
I may be prone to poor choices, but Jesus covers all that with His forgiveness and grace.
Even if I don’t throw my petals.