Tightropes and Sidewalks

Every so often, God refreshes my memory about the tightrope.

I walk a tightrope every day.

I know I’m not the only one because I see people behind and in front of me.

The wire gets tauter when we choose to thank God for anything.

It gets straighter when we say that Jesus is the Living God.

It gets super thin when we believe the Bible and its Words over anything else.

Day by day, we point our toes and try to place our feet on the wire.

Faith steadies us and we’re able to stand firm against the winds of the world

But knees buckle when we glance at those prancing on the wide and easy sidewalk.

I think that’s where Shannon was: smack dab in the middle of a buckle.

“I think I’m getting caught up,” she said sheepishly.

For the past month or so, Shannon had been pursuing a “friendship” with Jerome, a cab driver whose comedic style had captivated her.

Jerome was funny, gallant, and attractive.

Just one thing:

He had a live-in girlfriend.

He told Shannon that the relationship was dead and gone.

Yet, he still continued to live with her and made it clear to Shannon that he wanted more than just amicable days.

She sighed. Her eyes grew glassy and she dabbed at them with a balled up tissue.

My throat felt like it was cracking as I realized that she was contemplating something ill.

“I am so weary of doing good only to get nothing.

What is it all for?”

Tiffany’s knees were also trembling.

A couple of weeks ago, she vehemently proclaimed that women are ending up old and single because of the “God factor.” She herself had begun dating someone and subsequently deleted “relationship with God” from her suitor must-have list.

 “This is why women are bitter at 40. They want to have these men who have relationships with God but don’t give a fighting chance to these good men who don’t.”

Tiffany spat out her arguments like flat soda, always circling back to one thing:  Settle for deleting God from your requirements or suffer the consequences.

 The sidewalk is very attractive.

It can promise relationships.

Guarantee true love.

Assure you of success and triumph.

Surround you with a permanent slot in the ‘in crowd.’

Pledge to keep you rich with whatever you’re longing for.

It makes all these succulent claims. But never delivers. Never.

We don’t walk the tightrope to get a man or a woman. We don’t steady ourselves on a cord to be wealthy. We don’t grip our feet on a wire to be blessed with a house/car/clothes/job/friends/etc.

We do it because we love and want to please God.

That’s what it’s all for. 

Checking Scales

It was pretty.

Sitting daintily upon Lucille’s neck was a gleaming gold necklace. The chain caressed her clavicle as it dipped down her neck, holding a small diamond studded ball.

“Travis gave it to me for my birthday,” she said proudly.

I smiled until I heard her next statement:

“According to the Coach website, it’s worth about $80.”

Lucille appraises every gift her boyfriend gives her.

Every. Single. One.

From the Build-A-Bear teddy to the Bath & Body Works scent set to the tawny snakeskin sandals, every material donation to her personal repertoire is…

Assessed

Marked

Measured

And labeled for its monetary worth.

“I want to be sure we are giving equally,” she explained casually. “That way, I’m not giving more than he’s giving and vice versa.”

I shook my head in disbelief.

“There will have to come a day where all this appraising stops.”

Lucille just looked at me and I could see that that day was a long way off.

How can a relationship survive when you’re perpetually checking the scales?