The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
I find it ironic that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was in the middle of the Garden of Eden. So often, I have been told that I did not allow for much of a middle ground in matters and I have responded by saying that some things are either right or they are wrong and there is no real need to sway from one side to the other about them. It’s like being pregnant; you either are or you are not.
There are, of course some times when it is absolutely okay to linger in the middle ground. On matters that don’t require any real commitment or responsibility, does it really hurt to waver from one side to the other? Not really. But where someone is expecting something of another person or even hoping for something to happen that will be significant in their life, it really means alot to take a stand. You can’t go through life having one opinion one week and another opinion the next. There is no way to instill any real confidence in oneself or in one’s ability to be a trustworthy person if we can’t stand consistently by our opinions or positions on a given topic. There is also no way to build a solid foundation when we are constantly changing our minds about what materials should be included in the building of the house. There is a real difference between an evolving opinion and a flat out reversal of one’s affections. To completely flip means that we make those around us wonder if anything we ever said or did was ever genuine or came from a place of trying to love or care for them.
Coming through a marriage and finding that my feelings toward my now ex-husband had changed from the infatuation of our early years to something of fear and bitterness was not easy. This is not a reflection on him as much as it is a clear indicator that when we go into relationships with one another we really need to first be secure in who we are so that what we want and need in a relationship doesn’t get all wrapped up in what we think the other person can be for us before we even know them. If we set ourselves up to find satisfaction solely in the person we think we love, we are missing out on the satisfaction that comes from having a strong relationship with Christ and accepting that He is who He says He is and that we are who He says we are. In that instance, it is absolutely necessary to decide on one thing or the other. Are you going to walk with Him or not? You can’t drop out of step with Him one day and then be back at His side the next on a consistent basis. Even if you’re hoping that the consistency of your inconsistent devotion will be enough to hold His attention.
God requires from us a solid commitment to follow Him and there is no middle ground. We can’t just hang out on the fence waiting to see if one side looks better to us than the other. Once we see that relationship with Christ holds for us all that we could ever desire, then we need to grab hold of it with everything we are. If we decide after looking at who He is and what He can do for us that we don’t want Him in our lives, well, unfortunately that’s a path that we must go down alone. But if you hold onto Him and ask Him to be your Protector, your Provider, your Guide, your Savior…there is absolutely nothing that you won’t be able to achieve.
I guess I just don’t have much use for standing in the middle and not committing to one side or the other. Life is too short to spend your time in hesitation. If I’ve learned anything from the few months that I’ve been unemployed it is that I hate hanging around waiting between jobs and I’m ready to push forward and grab onto the next thing that God has for me. If I were content to just stay where I am, much of what life should be would definitely pass me by and I’d find myself wondering how I missed it. I pray that God doesn’t set me in the middle of a valley full of dry bones. That would surely be a terrible place to rest. Take a stand, make a decision, stop stringing people along until you get yourself together, make a commitment to something and press on.
And after it is thrown on the fire as fuel and the fire burns both ends and chars the middle, is it then useful for anything?