Black and White. Yes and No. Wrong and Right.
How much of our nation’s history has been tied up in this issue? How much of our own personal strife is a result of this contrast? There is a secret that has been alluding people for centuries. It’s not that hard. That’s not to say there aren’t “gray areas” in life. There are times that it’s more difficult to see which way to go or what to do. But in most “gray” cases, the issue is not that it’s hard; we just don’t have the guts.
It’s a scary thing to acknowledge that there is Truth. Absolute Truth means that sometimes you (and I) are…wait for it…wrong. I know. Shocking. But there is also nothing more freeing than knowing that there is a standard I can rely on, that there is something that can withstand all my doubts and fears. To know that there is a line between right and wrong means that Someone loves me enough to protect me.
I talk a lot about my strong-willed little girl. The biggest challenge in raising someone so head-strong is that you can’t falter. You can’t let up. Ever. In a very real sense, she is trying to break me. She is challenging my authority to see if it’s consistent enough to trust. She is looking for a crack in the foundation. She’s searching for proof that I’m not strong enough to be the boss so she should take over the job. If the rules are enforced when I’m angry but I let things slide when I’m tired or talking on the phone, that tells her the rule isn’t real. If it isn’t Right all the time, it’s not a rule worth following. How familiar does that sound to our daily lives? We spend all our time and effort trying to prove God wrong (or that He doesn’t exist) when the root of the issue is that we are kids who want someone to make us feel safe. Even when she goes to timeout, Brynna knows that at least there is something concrete she can depend on. There is a line. She crossed it, and she’s willing to deal with the consequences. But she had to know if the line was there.
We have spent so much trying to disprove the Line. We have tried and tried to convince ourselves that the One in charge isn’t there or isn’t strong enough to lead so we need to do the job. We need to be in control. The problem is, you and I aren’t big enough to be in charge. And neither is Brynna. If she were in charge, climbing the stair banister would be allowable. After all, it’s not hurting anyone else; she’s doing it in her own house. What could be the harm, right? Brynna doesn’t understand physics just yet. She hasn’t learned the concept of gravity. But one wrong step and she’d learn one terrifying lesson. The Line keeps her safe.
That’s where our guts come in. Sometimes you have to man up. Faith is not for the weak. It’s hard, it’s often painful and it’s costly. It takes a strong girl to say, “I want to climb the banister but I know it’s wrong so I won’t.” It requires self-control, humility and fortitude. It takes that and a whole lot more to trust that there is Right and Wrong, Yes and No, Black and White.
If you can relate to my Brynna, you’re not alone. If you just want to feel like someone cares and will keep you safe, I have good news. There is Someone who loves you more than you can comprehend. I don’t have to (and I promise I won’t) preach you a sermon to tell you I know how you feel and I’ve been where you are. Send me an email or Facebook message. We’ll go have ice cream if you live near Houston. Or I’ll introduce you to a friend wherever you live. What to do is never the hard issue. The question is…do you have the guts?