I remember the first time I realized that what I wanted from life was different than what I should want from life. That moment when I realized maybe I wasn’t going to fit into the expectations of the Christian, Southern woman.
The realization came from a bouqet of flowers.
I didn’t want long-stemmed red roses. I knew I should want them because they are the epitome of romance and extravagance, but I didn’t want them. I wanted the wildness of a mixed bouquet, the different colors and different textures eliciting not only sight, but smell and touch.
When we start voicing our desires, especially when they stand contrary to societal expectations something beautiful blooms. We start to realize how many choices we make each day based on what we should do. We start to notice how many times people start conversations and interactions with should and shouldn’t.
“You really shouldn’t be eating that..”
“You really shouldn’t let your kids…”
“You really should buy…”
“You really should watch…”
We’re surrounded by shoulds and shouldn’ts all trying to nudge us into societal norms with predictable patterns. The wildness of wanting and desiring something different, something more, something deeper disrupts and interrupts expectations. It’s hard to control. It’s hard to prepapre for.
Jesus walked a similar path as he stepped into his call. The religious leaders telling him he shouldn’t eat with sinners and he shouldn’t perform miracles on the sabbath. There was a way of doing things and Jesus shouldn’t change that.
As he entered Jerusalem, he should have been riding a horse. He should have proclaimed himself the Messiah instead of keeping it a secret. He should have marched straight to the leadership and overthrown their power.
But he didn’t. He chose a different Way.
And so should we.