Imagine you’re at a fork in the road. You can follow the path on the right that seems less traveled. It appears that few have gone down this road. For the most part the path is clearly marked. The path is barely worn but recognizable. The terrain is pretty hilly and has a bunch of rocks. The problem however is the path leads through a wooded area that might not be all that safe. It looks dark. No lights anywhere. The branches are broken in the trees and there appear to be wild animals in the woods. The other path however is smooth and clear. It’s actually paved nicely. The pavement has obviously been traveled a lot. There’s no overgrowth around the edges. It is very clean. And even better the entire path is well lit. Which would you choose?
Everyday we face a multitude of challenges. We’re faced with decisions that force us to choose. But what drives the decisions you make? There are generally two forces that drive our answers. Much like the two roads at the outset of this post, we make our decisions based on perceptions. If we’re being honest, most of us would choose the path that’s well lit and clearly marked. Many of us would stay as far away from the dark and scary trail as we were able to!
You see there are two forces that drive our decisions. The first force we come up against is the force of fear. It’s the force that says you’re not good enough and you won’t amount to anything. It’s the force that makes you second guess your words and your actions. It’s the same force that stops you dead in your tracks and will often prevent you from moving. Sometimes fear comes with trembling and shaking. But fear looks different for everyone.
Fear tries to drive us. It pushes its way into our lives and tries to get us to its bidding. Fear will stop us in our tracks and tell us things that just aren’t true. It’s the basis of the song Fear is a Liar that was featured on the blog a few weeks ago. Fear is what creeps in and tells us that the dark path leads to no where good. It’s the little voice in your head that says You don’t want to do that. It’s not safe. You could die. They’re out to get you. Or whatever your little voice says.
The second force that drives us is love. Now picture that same fork in the road. And the same conditions apply with one small difference. Down the road that leads to the dark woods you see someone lying on the ground. They’re obviously injured. They’re bleeding and crying. But you don’t know why and worse yet – you can’t see much of the surrounding area to know if it’s safe to venture that way.
This is where the dilemma becomes real. Part of you wants to help. But the other part of you wants to just keep on moving. Fear says Run Away! But love and kindness say Stop. Help. Do something. Lend a hand. Which force drives you?
Now we have to be careful and cautious in this life. We have to look out for ourselves and make sure we don’t get hurt or put ourselves in a dangerous position. But we do have a call to love our neighbor. Can you imagine what the world would look like if we looked out for our neighbor. How would life be different if we let love drive us instead of fear?
There’s a great line in the bible that says – greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world. It’s the truth. The bible says we don’t a spirit of fear and cowardice but of bold faith. We aren’t called to dance around the hard topics and challenging situations in life. We’re called to run right for them. We’re called to have hard conversations. We’re called to take a stand for what’s right. We’re called to choose love over fear.
What drives you? Is it fear or is it love?