I have decided that we ask the wrong questions, many times, and therefore, get the wrong answers. For example, what are you willing to die for? As I ponder the war in Iraq, the possibilities of conflict in the near future, with Iran or whomever, I think that question doesn’t work; not for us, the disciples of Jesus Christ.
There was this series of books I read in which my favorite character often said, “Death is lighter than a feather. Duty is heavier than a mountain.” Those words sang to me, even though I don’t think I comprehended them; but I think I am beginning to understand. Sacrificing yourself for some cause always contains some element of faith, even if the cause is unworthy. It also contains an element of finality and escape. I struggle through life and I find myself in a situation to die for a cause, to make something real or to protect someone or whatever; then I do it and face, what? Glory is what we believe as Jesus-folk, but even if you don’t believe in an afterlife, oblivion? Sleep? Rebirth? Many, many people choose everyday to face that rather than pain or sadness, not that I’m saying that it’s a good thing but……….. I know that many of you have things, starting with Christ, that you would die for, that’s the wrong question; there are two that are greater, stronger.
One, and very important for us followers of Jesus, is this: What am I willing to live for? This particular time in my life is distinguished by its’ open-enededness. I can’t see the road ahead. God has given me directions, but my individual sight, in terms of what the future holds, is seriously clouded. That’s not a bad place to be, it builds faith and knowledge of God; but it is trying, sometimes, and a little scary. None of us can see the whole road ahead, of course, and that’s why the question is so important. What will I live for? What struggles will I face? Whom will I lose along the way? How much pain can I tolerate if that is what God so wills? Tough questions without real answers. We find our answers on the journey.
The other question is what I first thought of today while listening to Derek Webb’s new project. Now, understand, I’m not a pacifist nor do I believe that the Book teaches pacifism as a legitimate lifestyle. But neither will I allow myself to love war. It is not of God, even when He has chosen it, it is not His favored solution but one that necessarily works on this fallen planet. He uses it globally as He uses our own sins to bring forward His rule. But war is to be avoided if possible and that brings me to the question: What are you willing to kill for? Your country, your property, your spouse, your children? How cheaply or costly do you hold human life? Is the life of an unborn child more or less important than the lives of Iraqi civilians or even terrorist children, born into a broken society? Is your television worth killing the intruder? How about your family?
I don’t have an answer to these question for you, you have to think through them, but you MUST THINK!! The destruction of life, the stealing of choice, must be founded on more than knee-jerk emotionalism, there must be thought, meditation, prayer. War will be our ongoing burden for several years, is it right?
What will you die for?
What will you live for?
What will you kill for?
An exercise for the redeemed mind, think.