Have you ever played the game of rope tug where two teams line up on opposite sides, grabbing both ends of a single rope? The strategy is that both teams pull as hard as they can until one team falls. Oh, and did I say that both sides are standing in the mud the whole time? In the end, the team that loses control of the rope ends up falling in the mud. The truth is that since both sides are standing in mud during the “tug of war,” both teams are muddy, whether they “fall,” win or lose.
As I have watched the news of late, read the newspaper headlines, or even perused the various social media online sites, the game of “rope tug of war” keeps coming to mind. Keeping up with the societal “tyranny of the urgent” situations is impossible. I am currently away for the summer months and received a weather alert this morning about possible flooding conditions in the area. Instead of being relieved for the heads-up information, I thought seriously, do we need more stressful situations? Between the pandemic, politics, and social unrest, the common cold sounds welcoming!
Regardless of personal views, the Bible does have the wisdom to help us as we try to make sense of every person’s worldview on the current conditions under which we live. As a self-proclaimed Christian, I often go to the Scriptures when in need of words of wisdom far greater than my own. Please allow me to share the following passage, as I believe it speaks to our human condition. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV). Looking over this list of possible human attributes, I see nothing that should cause anyone offense, no matter your religious affiliation, or if you have none at all.
Let us revisit my opening paragraph to try and find a clearer understanding of these thoughts. Like in the game, tug of war where both teams get muddy, even the winning team, when we line up in a “us against them” tug of war scenario, win or lose everyone “gets muddy!”
Like you, my heart breaks with so much unrest in our world today. “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” are these qualities so elusive, or do we simply reject them? From where I stand, nothing on the list is impossible if we are willing. Life in this world is fleeting. Not one of us will live here forever; the mortality rate is one hundred percent. As long as we are living and breathing, you and I have an opportunity, if not an obligation to be part of the solution that makes the world a better place, both now and for future generations; or, we fuel the agenda of unrest. My prayer is that we will reach for the high bar, where no one gets muddy, and all sides win.