Do you want to play a game? I’m going to give you a series of French cultural choices, and you have to pick one or the other, depending on what you prefer. No sitting on the fence!
Would you rather…
Visit the Eiffel tower, or the Louvre art museum?
Go to the French Alps, or the beach at Bordeaux?
Eat frog’s legs, or snails?
Have you ever thought about the fact that life is all about choices? And in this little game of 'Would you rather' there is no middle ground.
But sometimes there IS middle ground! Take the last set of choices I presented you with. Now, there are some very nice (and quite reasonably priced!) restaurants in the Latin quarter in Paris, where you can experience a truly French traditional meal. And in the list of starters/entrées, you will find both frogs legs and snails. But you will also find onion soup! I don’t know about you, but I’d pick onion soup every time!
And what about being a disciple? You could be definitely NOT a believer, or you could be a full-on, passionate, on-fire-for-Jesus Christian. Or, you could be a middle of the road, onion soup Christian! I’ve got nothing against onion soup, but in the second half of the Bible, it is very clear how Jesus feels about people who wouldn’t fully commit.
And if you read the first half of the Bible, it is full of stories of people who made choices when faced with God – many of them Bible heroes! Think about Noah: he didn’t need to obey God’s instructions to build a giant boat. He chose to. And Moses – he made a choice to go to Pharaoh, then chose to lead the people through the desert. Isaiah, when faced with a vision of God and the question “Whom shall I send?” was like that kid in class during primary school who always had his hand up to answer the teacher’s question, “Send me, send me!” almost out of his seat with excitement! This was not an onion soup moment, this was a “Yes, I am IN!”
But what if Isaiah had kept his hand down?
What if Moses had walked away from the burning bush with his fingers plugging his ears?
What if Noah hadn’t built the boat?
Then there would be no prophecies from Isaiah, no record of Moses and God would have had to pick someone else to save all of mankind from total destruction! These three guys would be gone and forgotten, instead of permanently written into history, and instrumental in God’s plan for humanity. Because actually, there was nothing particularly remarkable about any of them – except that they chose to say “yes!”
We are faced with choices every single day, and maybe the single most important choice that you will ever make is how are you going to respond when faced with the call from God? He has a plan for your life, to make you instrumental in His plan for humanity! It may not be a huge thing like leading 600,000 people through the desert, or building a giant boat, but it is still God’s plan. Maybe you are deliberating that choice right now, maybe you feel like you are still waiting for it. One thing is very clear – there is no middle ground. And I want to encourage you, whenever that call comes, whatever the call is, let your answer be like Isaiah’s: “Yes! Send me!”
This blog post may be over, but your choices are not. One personal recommendation – avoid the onion soup!
Paul leads the Short-Term Mission department for OM in France (a multi-faceted charity, one of whose goals is to support the local church in their community evangelism efforts). He is married, has two boys, and enjoys eating French pastries.