I was once on the fence over an issue in my life, and that issue was that I was stuck on a fence. My parents had guests over and my brother and I decided to go check out the horse pasture in front of my house. The reason we did this was because these guests did not have kids so staying in the house was deemed boring. When it started to get dark my brother and I decided that even if the house was boring my parents would be a little angry if we did not go home. When people picture horse pastures they might think of whitewashed wood rail fences, but in Wyoming everything is surrounded by barbed wire.
My brother decided to crawl over the fence using the proper barbed wire technique, stay close to the post and use it like a ladder. I however decided that I would crawl through because the wire was a bit old and stretched making climbing a bit more difficult than on a newer fence. That is when the trouble began. My brother was already half way to the house when he realized that I was stuck on the fence. The crotch of my pants had been hooked and I did not have the best perspective in order to solve the problem. By perspective I mean that i could not see where it was caught, and by perspective I also mean that I was an 8 year old boy with his crotch stuck on a piece of rusty wire. Eventually my brother helped me out and I went home with a pair of pants that needed to be patched. Thankfully that is all that had to be patched.
People don’t like to admit that life is lived in tension, we can’t just accept one idea and call it a day. I have to on one hand keep control of my children and start to let them go at the same time. I have to work on my faith and work out my faith at the same time. I have to realize that sometimes I will know best and sometimes my wife will know best. In all of these problems I could choose to simply take one side and think that I am okay. People love to do this, by the way, not because it is right but because it is seemingly easy. If I decide to keep control of my children until they are gone I may, if I have a compliant child, have peace in my house but ultimately that child will be stunted. If I have a rebellious child I would be lucky to ever see them again. If I simply worked out my faith I would be spiritually empty of any power in which to do so. If I decided that I am the “Pater Familia” and what I say goes, that certainly simplifies the decision making process, but ultimately leaves out the wisdom of an equal partner and creates a relational barrier.
People don’t like tension it is akin to trying to live life walking on the top of a fence. If I decide to walk on one side of the fence I am extremely comfortable and I can be oblivious to the perspective on the other. If I love life on the other side of the fence I am always giving into the forces that determine my life for me. However if we learn to walk on the fence it eventually becomes easier and we realize that living up there provides the best perspective in order to live life.