The Weekly PowerBreak – “Almost Won’t Cut It”

It was a feeling of frustration for a four-year-old boy, who every time he visited his grandmother, longed to be in the school playground behind her house. The playground seemed within easy reach. However, a six-foot chain link fence appeared to be the monster for a four-year-old that kept him from his heart’s desire. One day the boy could take it no more.  He overcame his fear and climbed the fence. Straining to get to the top, he pulled himself up, put one leg over, paused for just a brief moment, and got stuck on the top of the fence. Sitting on the top allowed the rough edges of the metal chain link to puncture his jeans and being unable to untangle himself and getting more frightened by the height with each passing moment, he did what any four-year-old would do.  “Help! Help”, he screamed. When his father came to his rescue, his father’s words were simply, “Son, go one way or the other, but don’t just sit there.”

As I said later in life when recalling this event, “I don’t know how many times that happened before I got enough sense to not stop half way but just keep going when I hit the half-way point!”

It’s like that in life.  We get all enthused about a course of action we are going to take, take some initial steps, even make some progress toward our goal when it hits us that we aren’t there yet, and we get discouraged. The advice is the same as my father gave to me while sitting on the fence, “Son, go one way or the other, but don’t just sit there.”

The Bible is clear that fence sitting – straddling between believing God and moving forward and stifled by unbelief just doesn’t cut it with God.

James 1:5-8 (ESV) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

It’s like the picture in the Old Testament when Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.  Once they hit the half-way point, the opposition came out and discouragement set in.

Nehemiah 4:6-7 (ESV) 6 So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work. 7 But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and that the breaches were beginning to be closed, they were very angry.

It’s a matter of keeping our focus on the finish line and not stopping until it is reached.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (ESV) 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Half-way won’t cut it. We can’t just sit there half committed. If we are going to finish the course, it takes discipline to just keep going. If we see we have made a mistake in the course, then stop, turn around (the Bible calls this repenting), and begin a new course of action. It’s that simple.

Our problem is like the problem the boy had in the story, when we stop and relax in our progress we often get stuck half way, making it very difficult to go one way or the other.  To keep this from happening to you today, don’t just sit there straddling the fence, leaning one way or the other, get going or go back and try something different.

Joshua put it this way:

Joshua 24:14–15 (ESV) — 14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”


Bob Brubaker