James 4:1-2 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it. You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
Last night I had a dream and in that dream people were not being given a choice. I showed up in the dream and I found that everybody was doing things a certain way and when I made the suggestion that there were options people wondered. And some of the oversight began to be very upset. I asked a young man, “you do know what choice is, right?”
There is something about not being given a choice, at least in America that offends people. Perhaps it is the pioneer in us or the historical DNA of marching to a different drummer founded on religious freedoms.
My experience has been when you tell someone they do not have a choice it often results in them steeling their mind towards what they believe and working to do it anyways in most cases. And they pull away and fight.
That seems to be the root of the problem. It begins that which sets things up for polarization or the inability to have a dialogue.
A few days ago, Indiana went to release a law to protect the rights of the individual. It was immediately branded a hate law. (One of the main difficulties is it already a law in many states. In the words of one man, “Your right to be protected from being offended ends with my right under the 1st Amendment to offend you”. Clearly you can not have it both ways.)
One of the casualties was a pizza place. They were demonized over their statements. They decided to close, over their statements of choice and how they were perceived. (They never said they would not serve a person. They said they would not cater certain functions over their beliefs. Two completely different thoughts) A crowd fund raised $842,000 for them. Outside their doors, members of the “offended” group came to bring healing.
Before this all began a Pushmi-pullyu showed up to me during some time of prayer. I had not though of one for years. (Apparently the newer Dr. Doolittle pieces do not speak of them. They must be extinct.) But as it appeared to me, I began to think of “what is the meaning”.
While walking with my son yesterday we came to a river. As we went to cross the bridge, a wooden dining chair, gently floated down the river. Immediately I knew God was saying there is rest in the middle of His river. The river of God. Rest. God. A meal.
I sense despite the challenges we are seeing something powerful is beginning to appear.
As I thought about the Pushmi-pullyu, I realized a few things about people.
- We are often too busy trying to get our point across. And we miss out on another’s point of view or choice.
- There can be two sides. Hmmm… Maybe more.
- We need to stop arguing and start working together.
- The world will not change if we work against ourselves. (It will in fact become more difficult!)
- Stop arguing over differences.
- Stop pointing out all the differences. Embrace diversity. And work in the common areas.
- Stop nit picking!
- One size does not fit all. All foods are not the same. (I can not and will not eat sweet potatoes!)
I am learning more and more just to let go of conversations, differences and to simply love the person and the people. When they change, we are closer to the change! Let God work on their “choices”.
We are the body. It is time to stop “eating” our own.
Let people have their “choice”. Trust Jesus to know that He is out for love and for them. That He is able to implement change.
Last night I clicked on something on Facebook about a mom being asked about the death of Jesus. A few moments later there was a private message. “What do I say to my daughter.” It opened a dialog for the next few hours.
I was asked a lot of the hard questions. I answered.
Folks, I have never met this woman, but my heart goes out to people like her. To her child I have never met. Because Jesus is the game changer. The light and life to the world.
We can not be afraid of who we do not understand or know. As I spoke to another this week about Him, she asked if she could “give me a hug”. She loves another woman. My job is to share His goodness. To not back down from the hard questions or what I believe, but to love.
$842,000 to defend a “right”? Folks, the world is being set up for Jesus and His people, to bring His love and His goodness.
Some how our “Pushmi-pullyu” needs to become a creature that is yolked with one another. More like “oxen” in the field. More like “steeds of destiny”. Going “some place” instead of always working against one another.
Today great things are prone to happen for those who trust in Him. Unlike the disciples who cried and worried just hours before His resurrection, let us be joyful in our inheritance and in who we are. Thee is unity through our diversity if we allow it.
Reach out and touch someone!