Choosing Sides
A Parable
by M. Tichi
Network Minister


It's down to the last 20 seconds of the final quarter. The players on the field are positioned and ready to fake a kick to make the final touchdown for the game, and they will either win or lose, depending on the outcome. The quarterback signals to his team the play, and begins to call out the numbers. The crowd is tense...
You sit there, and you have your favorite team; whether it is football, basketball, baseball, you have your favorite, for whatever reason. Either you lived in that city once, or you are in that state, or you know someone personally that is on the team. America is all about choosing up sides, and this is something we are taught from practically birth, beginning with which parent we are going to like the best, or which sibling. Then in grade school it's about being on "teams" and in high school, it's an "us against them" attitude from the cliques to the rival schools. America is about choice. Either you choose one side, or you choose the other. Bully/bullied, popular/unpopular, pretty/ugly, rich/poor and so on. Some of us don't get to choose the side we are on, we just seem to be put there by some unseen and seemingly oppressive force, other times, we worked hard to get there, or purposely chose to be in the position we are in. Childhood, school, life, all choices, and each one shapes the way we are, good or bad.
Now it comes to this choice, and it is your decision to be on the side you choose, no one else's. It is completely personal and requires a lot of dedication for the right reasons. If you choose the wrong side, there are consequences, just like in life when you stand at any crossroads. Which way to go? Which way to go? What if you choose neither and decide to stand in the crossroad the rest of your life? Well, THAT TOO IS A CHOICE TO WHICH there are very negative consequences. Which way to go, left or right? Let me give you a map, here, take it, it's the Bible. Review the map carefully. Hmmm. This says that if you take one side then your inheritance is nothing but ugliness and hate. But it says if you take this other side, you are welcome in a place that has beauty and a love like you have never known. The catch is if you stand there too long deciding, then the choice is made for you. Hmmm. Which way to go??
The left leads to worldly riches, and bounty, things of worldly pricelessness, financial security, plenty of food, whatever your heart desires. The trees look healthy and full and the path seems smooth and only goes in one direction. It's an easy path, that's for sure, and everyone else around you seems to be going that way...
The right seems foreboding, at first, the forest is thick with dark trees, steep climbs, rocky terrain. There is hardly anyone on it; everyone else went the other way because of they way the path looks. Yikes!
But that map I gave you says that even though the path is rocky at first, and hardly anyone else is going that way, and it is dark and steep, it is the way to go. There is nothing beautiful about it that you can see, not from where you stand, it is quite the opposite, in fact, the other path is the one that is beautiful. Then you have a sudden thought! You know, maybe this beautiful path STARTS OUT beautiful, but then becomes like this other path, which is, frankly, just scary. Then that would mean that the foreboding path would come out to a beautiful meadow. And love? A love like you have never known? More than friends, more than parents and family, even more than a child - who seems to love unconditionally? "Who could ever love me like that" you say to yourself, "WHO"? So you scoff, knowing you are completely unworthy of that kind of love, and you turn to the left to start up the nice breezy walkway. But then you stop. Love? If I took the other way, I would be doing it for love, not so that anyone will love me, but because I love them, and this is the way that those who love me now tell me to go. And, what exactly is that pulling on my heart? Whose voice is that I hear calling me from amongst the trees, that voice sounds so familiar. Who could it be??? It is me. I am your sister, come here and I will show you what this path holds so that you can make the right decision. I love you more than your parents, and your friends, and I love you more than your own child does, because I am more than just your sister, and I want to lead you to green pastures. But first, you need go through those rocks, steep climbs, and dark trees. "Come to me," I say, "come and see." Ignore those standing behind you impatiently waiting for you to decide, and ignore them that stand at the entry way of the beautiful path telling you to hurry up, everyone else that you know is inside, and ignore the other voice inside your head, he doesn't love you like I do. What do you have to lose?
You swallow hard, and up you climb, steep rocks, you slip a few times, skinning your knee, but you learn to check those rocks before you step on them. There are snakes that strike out at you from various CREVICES in the cliff WITH GREVIOUS BITES, but you learn to look for them before you place your hands INTO their DWELLINGS. The Sun is beating down on you hard, but IT CAUSES you learn to appreciate the coolness of the wind as it wafts by. Birds DIVE AT YOU AS THEY ABOVE YOUR HEAD, trying to make you fall so they may have a feast, but you hold on and keep climbing, remembering what I told you about love, and simultaneously thinking "Why didn't I just go the other way?" which you can NOW see from your lofty view AS YOU NEAR THE SUMMIT. DOWN BELOW everyone IS drinking, and eating, and BEING MERRY. REGARDLESS, you press ON, determined to REACH the top. ONCE AGAIN YOU PEER DOWN AT the FOREST FLOOR far below, and YOU NOTICE that the other path leads to exactly what you thought it would; nothing but desolation. You suddenly feel sorry for those that chose the EASY PATH, you can see THE DREADFUL CONSEQUENCES of choosing it; YOU SHOUT WARNINGS TO THOSE BELOW, BUT THEY CANNOT HEAR YOU OR UNDERSTAND YOU; there really isn't anything you can do about it. They got TO MAKE THEIR choice the same as you did. Finally after bleeding, thirsting, starving, being broiled by the heat and stung by the snakes, you are there, and the view is so grand. THROUGH THE CLOUDS you can see everything all around. You look across the top, and there it is, the promised meadow, and there I am, your sister, AND OUR ELDER BROTHER standing there waiting for you.
"Why did you just stand there, and not help me up the cliffside if you loved me like you said?" you angrily ask me.
"I didn't need to help you, your FATHER did that, and see? You have made it to the top and you are still alive and are standing here with me in the meadow." I answer.
"But I skinned my knee, and here I was bit by a snake, and I am bleeding, tired, hungry, thirsty, and my family is down there." You cry.
I comfort you, "Ah, but you are here, and there was a reason that you chose this way, so, come, let me nurse your wounds, give you rest, feed you, give you drink, and show you your family."
I lead you to a stream and wash and dress your wounds, allowing you to drink first, I bake you two loaves of bread and feed you, then make you a bed of down in the sweet smelling meadow. When you are satisfied, I introduce you to your family, they are different than the one you left behind, they all have someone to take care of, and they LOVE the FATHER with all of their hearts, minds and souls. Nothing else matters. There are no troubles in that meadow, only love. The children are safe, and happy, and loved beyond any earthly boundaries; there is NO EVIL to harm them.
There, in the middle of the family is a bright and shining light, like brazed brass, it is YHWH, and HE guards over HIS children, and their children, and HE is always with them, HE never leaves. The family dances around HIM and they are VERY HAPPY. All they really had to do was hear HIM when HE called, through a brother or sister who spoke for HIM, and all they had to do after that was climb the rocky path to the top and the meadow. It was worth every inch, every drop of blood, every poison from those snakes, every hunger and thirst pang, all of the heat, and all of those trying to make them fall. It was worth it all and so much more.
Are we crazy because we didn't listen to what other people told us, but listened to our hearts? Are we insane because we "see" those messages written down for us centuries ago, or because we can tell you what they mean after this one book has confounded people for as long as it has been written? Are we evil because we see Messiah Yahshua for what he really is and was, a man who was pulled out of the lies, just as we were? Or are we completely "off our rockers" because we chose to believe in something no one can see with their eyes? I tell you as a testimony of my love for you that in no way am I crazy, insane, off my rocker, or evil. Quite the contrary, my beloved, I am truthful and what I say is true. Yes, we are supposed to trust our parents (who were told exactly the same lies, as were their parents, and their parents before them), and WHO exactly has failed to tell us the truth when they knew it? Not I or my brethren, and certainly not that pull on your heart, or that voice in your head (we all have it), but once a lie gets so big and widespread, and everyone believes it, it is nearly impossible to see the truth afterwards. Once upon a time, people thought the earth was flat. That was a truth once. Think about how much more you are going to know tomorrow.
Messiah may not come today, and he may not come tomorrow, and you may very well be a corpse when he arrives. But make no mistake, my beloved, he WILL come, and corpse or not, you will be resurrected sometime to be judged. Isn't it at least worth a look?
Come, my people, come and see the glory and love that is YHWH!

It's Time To Take Sides

M.L Tichi

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