I once thought people who had no church or religious affiliation were sad and hopeless. They had no anchor in times of grief. But, today, I stand on the edge of the field. Behind me, the path I am now traveling, is dark and empty. It is a void. It is filled with me trying to be something I’m not. It is filled with me trying to live up to an expectation I can’t. I can’t be the one who smiles when life is tough and spouts Scripture to find strength anymore. It is not working. The smile is false and I have no strength at all.
I look the other way, a step towards no organized religion. There is nothing on this side that says I have to accept all that is bad because there is no higher calling. Nothing on this side says hurt is necessary to perfect you. Hurt is just hurt on this side. You learn to bury it, to become numb to it. There are just my own rules on this side; my own ability to forget; my own ability to not care; my own ability to focus only on me. It’s greener that way. The road ahead is short. I can’t see where it leads. But maybe I don’t care? Maybe that road would be easier if only for a bit? I could use a break. Should I take a step?
I’m standing in the field weighing my decision and I hear behind me, faint voices, calling:
“Where will you lead us?”
My burden is made heavier. The decision to walk away from organized religion does not just affect me. It affects them as well.
I start to question. What if it is true – all they say about Christ? That He is the Messiah; the Saviour of the world; that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. All others will suffer eternal separation.
And then I feel it. A gentle hand pulling me away from the edge of the field. I don’t have to question “what if” it is true. I know it is true. I have walked with my Saviour for many years. He has never let me travel to this depth before but He has never left me. Why would I leave Him?
The path I am on was never truly void or empty. I see now that the path of no religion is only greener on the surface to tempt me to take the step. The vegetation appears pleasant but it will not sustain. Wide is the path that leads to destruction but narrow the path that leads to life.
As my Saviour and I walk away from the edge, back into the desolation, I see that it does not go on forever. There is in fact a brighter field, greener and more lush, than the field of no religion. I see my children there, playing in it. They are drinking milk and eating honey. They are skipping with the Lamb. It is truly the best choice. And I wonder why did I ever travel to the edge of the field? How did I get there? I suppose it doesn’t matter as long as I make the choice to not stay there. I will not stay there. My choice is to follow my Saviour where He leads. My choice is to one day drink the milk, eat the honey and skip with the Lamb.