Just passing through!

Learning English was one of the first things I had to do when moving to the United States from France. One of the challenges was understanding that the American language is filled with clichés or idioms.

One of those idioms is used when speaking about someone who is indecisive. We say they are “sitting on the fence.” They have not decided which side of the fence they are on, therefore they are in the middle. 

The phrase, "sitting on the fence" expresses the belief that we can only sit on one side of an issue or the other.

When it comes to living a life of faith, we have to be willing to make a decision. We have to get off the fence and decide. 

Many of us know what it means to sit on the fence or to be a fence sitter. That’s when we become indecisive because we value what is safe and known above what is unsafe and unknown. Do you know what motivates us to be fence sitters? Fear. It is all around us. It paralyzes us so that we live our lives as fence sitters. A lot of that fear is learned as a belief system. 

In "The Culture of Fear," sociologist Bernie Glassner writes, “We live in the culture of fear. We are the most worried society that ever lived.” 

We were conditioned to fear when we were growing up. What did your mom say when you headed out the door to school? It’s a rare mom that says, "Take risks honey. 

Embrace danger. Look just one way when you cross the street." We were usually told, "Be careful. Its a dangerous world out there.”

Fear is not a bad thing. We have been wired for it. As a built-in mechanism it warns of danger and keeps survivors alive. Like hunger, it helps us realize that our body needs to be replenished.  
Unfortunately, an emotion designed to come and go, often lingers. What keeps us on the fence is the need for fear to go away.  Of course fear never goes away completely.

The key is to invite God to walk through it with us. That is why one of the most famous verses in Bible reminds us in Psalm 23, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” In other words, with God we’re taking a stroll through the dark valley, we’re not planning to stay there.