Living in the Tension
I'm becoming more and more convinced that life is meant to be lived in the Tension. The Tension is the place between extremes, where things are not cut and dry, where emotion lives, and where things often get messy.
Life is easier as a religious legalist or as a religious pluralist than it is as someone who holds to the Gospel of Jesus. Life is easier as a conservative Republican or as a liberal democrat than it is as someone who blurs party lines.
It's not so easy in the middle.
But life happens in the middle. Faith happens in the middle. Extremes are the places people go to hide from the Tension. It's easier to hole up in the ivory tower of an extreme and surround yourself with like minded people than it is to deal with the differing viewpoints, emotions, opinions, and cultures of the middle.
When Christ was doing ministry he thrived in the Tension, he was master of it. He called the legalistic and the pluralistic out of their holes to embrace the life God intended for them, one of community, love, sacrifice, diversity and honesty. Those things can only happen in the middle. You might think there is community in the extremes, but go ahead and voice an opinion that goes against party lines and see how much 'community' you receive. If you don't talk, act, and think a certain way in the extremes you'll find yourself on the way out.
The gospel calls us to live in the middle, to embrace the tension of life. God came to earth as a human in Jesus, if there isn't tension in that then I don't know where else to look.
There is tension in trying to understand all that God is. There is incredible tension in reconciling our earthly rationale and logic with the seemingly irrational grace of God. There is tension in forgiving someone who has sinned against you. There is tension in differing cultures, in differing priorities, in differing opinions. But there is also incredible beauty in the Tension. Our lives were not meant to be spent holed up out in the extreme with people who think, act, and believe exactly the same as us. We were meant for life in the middle, full of tension, full of community, full of life.