The majority of the time, people will fall into one of two categories. Those who like dessert and those who don’t. Pro-life and pro-choice. Introverts and extraverts. Democrats and republicans. Ford and GMC. Christian and non-Christian. Those who like the pastor and those who don’t. Those who prefer rainy days and those who prefer sunny days. Chocolate and vanilla. Dog lovers and cat lovers.
It seems everything in life requires an “either or” mentality. Either you support something or you oppose it.
As the youth group helper last Wednesday evening, I observed 17 teens interact with one another while standing around outside. Someone in the group tattled—loudly—on a young man who wasn’t present at that moment and how he was engaging in some inappropriate behavior. This group of teens immediately split into two groups—those who liked and supported the young man, and those who did not.
I watched a few stragglers struggle to pick a group. They were torn between the two camps and didn’t know where to go. But one thing was sure, being in the middle made them very uncomfortable and they desperately felt the need to join a group. One young straggler questioned a couple of opposers, not voicing opposition, but just questioning the how and what of it all. An opposer took this young straggler by the shoulders and said, “If you keep defending him, we are going to judge you.”
And the straggler shut up. The fear of being a straggler was stronger than the fear of picking the wrong side. And she joined the opposing camp. Maybe she joined the opposing camp simply because they got to her before the supporting camp did. Maybe she joined the opposing camp because the threat of being judged came from an upperclassman and she did not want to be ostracized at school. Maybe society has already impacted her young mind into believing she had to pick a side. Right then and there.
If only we were so desperate when it came to choosing to walk in God’s light or . . . walk in darkness. On this battlefield, many folks struggle choosing which eternal group they want to belong in. I know some who dabble in many religions to “cover the bases” by picking every camp so they don’t pick the wrong camp. This is the one area where you don’t want to be a lukewarm straggler.
Revelation 3:16 (NLT) says, “But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I [the Lord] will spit you out of my mouth!”
I don’t want to be labeled supporter or opposer of this or that; democrat or republican; introvert or extrovert; dog lover or cat lover. I do, however, want to be known as a Christian on fire for God who refuses to straddle the lukewarm fence between holy and unholy, hoping at the last minute I’ve picked the right camp. I want to know that I know that I know all the days of my life that I chose God’s holy camp, even if those standing in solidarity with me number only a few compared to those standing in the opposing camp.
As far as being “either or” in this world, you’ll find me picking one of two groups in the things that matter. Like choosing hope over despair. Love over hate. Joy over misery.
Misery deceives you into believing you’ll find strength in numbers. The line is drawn, and you stand on that line. Misery screams for you to cross to its side. The tiny voice of joy beckons from the other side of the line. Glimpses of a table overflowing with harvest catch your eye, and Joy stands there, waiting to serve you. ~~excerpt from Broken Umbrellas
Christ is the solid bridge between two camps. The bridge in which we can cross from misery to joy, hate to love, despair to hope. He bridged the gap between Gentile and Jew. He bridged the gap between us and God. But, we are the ones who must step across the bridge.
I pray I not only cross that bridge all the days of my life, but that I walk folks across so they know joy, love, and hope. I also pray my heart is guarded against ever wanting to fit into one of two worldly camps. Don’t make me choose between rainy days and sunny days. And if my choices are chocolate or vanilla, give me a scoop of both.