PASTOR'S PEN: Straddling the lines

Take some sidewalk chalk and head outside. Now draw a giant letter ‘V’ so that the top ends of the ‘V’ are farther from each other than you could possibly stretch. Go back to the bottom point of the ‘V’ and attempt to walk with one foot on each line all the way to the top. (By the way, this is a great lesson for your family devotions. You can have your kids draw the ‘V’)

When you were at the bottom of the ‘V’ walking with one foot on each line was pretty simple. Your youngest, who can barely walk, could even succeed at that one. But as you became more committed, it became harder to keep one foot on each line. In fact, the further you go out with the ‘V,’ the harder it would become. Eventually, you would either fall over or be forced to choose a side.

This is the same in our lives. At the end of his life, Joshua challenged the nation of Israel with this call to commitment, “Be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning to the right or to the left. Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. But you are to hold fast to the LORD your God …choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” (Joshua 23:6-8, 24:15. Emphasis added)

Joshua knew something that we often attempt to do results in utter failure. We attempt to give ourselves to God and something else. That something else may be pride, lust, greed, envy, bitterness, love of money or a host of other things. We say, “I can do both. See how easy it is.” And it is. It is easy to do both – as long as you aren’t very committed to either side. But the more you become committed to one or the other or both, the harder it becomes to do both. Just like walking that 'V,', you’ll either fall flat on your face or you’ll have to decide which line you want to walk.

So what two lines are you trying to straddle today? I encourage you, make a choice. The road is much less painful.