Would you rather be living the life you have now, or the one you had as a kid? Would you rather find the love of your life, or find ten million dollars tax free? Would you rather be a superstar, or be the best friend of a superstar?
When I was in high school Pastor Jason used to play this game with us called “Would You Rather…” Here is how it worked…He would read two scenarios, and we would have to pick which one of the two we would rather do. You couldn’t say neither, or both, pick one. Sometimes the choices were both great, sometimes both gross. For instance, would you rather eat dog food or chew a piece of gum found stuck under a folding chair? Of course you weren’t going to actually do either, but they were funny to think about.
We had some great laughs over some of them, others really made us think. Let me show you, ask yourself the following… Would you rather be stuck on an island alone, or with someone who never stops talking? Would you rather be stuck in an elevator or on a ski lift? Would you rather win the lottery or live twice as long? Would you rather be rich and ugly or poor and good looking? Would you rather have x-ray vision or bionic hearing? Would you rather be 3 feet taller or 3 feet shorter? Would you rather have 500 tarantulas in your house or 5 snakes in your room?
I think you get the idea. It can be a fun game, a thought provoking game and at times, a game that just simply grosses you out! (Would you rather drink a cup of spit from your friends or jump into a swimming pool of tobacco spit?)
All the choices were fictitious, we weren’t going to get to (or have too) do any of them. But let me take a moment to play a real Would You Rather game, one that gets played out every day in other parts of the world…
Would You Rather…Give your child away to a stranger knowing you would never see them again, or watch your child starve to death in your arms? Wow, things just got a bit more uncomfortable didn’t they? Stick with me please. Would You Rather…Have sex with strangers to survive, or starve to death? Would You Rather…feed your kids or clothe them? Would You Rather…Stand up for Christ and watch your wife and children get raped, or praise Allah and have your family spared death and rape?
Gulp. I’m glad you are still reading. That was a tough paragraph to read. Trust me, it was tough to write. But it is time we in America start facing the truth instead of hiding from it. Those are real life choices facing millions of people right now, today. While we decide things like…Coke or Pepsi? Value size or Super Size? Chevy or Ford? Democrat or Republican? Baptist or Methodist? Go to a basketball game or to a movie? Play a video game or a board game? Hymns or Contemporary? Go to church or watch it on facebook live? Others are deciding what they will do to survive. Will they eat mud, or go hungry?
I hope you can somehow sense my struggle. These are the travesties I knew little about for most of my life. I guess I heard one thing here or there, maybe watched a short video or read an article in VOM, but for the most part I never really thought about it. If that is you, if you are reading this and have never taken the time to dwell on these types of things. Please, stop. Pray. Ask God to open your eyes and give you a heart for the poor. I want to encourage you. At first it will make you, well, miserable. But as you wrestle with these thoughts, how could God allow these things to happen, why won’t He do something to stop these atrocities, I pray you will begin to see, as I have, that He has provided a way to help these people. It’s called… “The Church.” Specifically the church in America. And the church is made up of people, that is you and me. Another words, God, in His infinite wisdom, has equipped you and I to be the answer to prayer so many are looking for. However, He won’t work through us until we make ourselves available.
I understand, this blog post has been like the Wild Thing, a rollercoaster at Valley Fair from my childhood. Up and down, right and left, upside down and bumpy, this post has a lot of raw emotion in it. Life has gotten much more complicated than it was twenty years ago, and yet, so much better. It is hard to explain how aching and crying for people I don’t know specifically is better than being oblivious to their plight, but it is. I can’t explain how praying for these people all night and being tired the next day is somehow better than sleeping well and rising fully rested, but it is.
My prayer, perhaps you will pray it with me…“Oh God, let me be comfortable no longer. Do what it takes to make me a person you can work through. Use me to be an answer to someone’s prayer today. Don’t let me cry in vain. Don’t open my eyes to these things and then let me sink back into life as usual. Don’t let me be distracted by what the world calls important. God please help me focus on what is important to You. Let me love the least of these. May I not just be grateful for all the things you have entrusted to me, but God give me a willingness to pass those things on, that you may be glorified as the Giver. Help me to live a radical life for You, as so many of my brothers and sisters are doing even now around the world. Let me join them. God move in your church. Open her eyes to how she is handling the things you have entrusted to her. Call her to action. I beg you Father, please, give me the willingness to be an answer to prayer for those who are suffering. I praise you Father. I love You. Thank you Jesus. Amen.”