I don’t know about you, but when I am introduced to a new concept, philosophy, or even a simple idea, I take hold of it and attempt to reevaluate myself and my life based on the prescriptions and ideas of what I have discovered. However, as much fun as it is to implement new behaviors and beliefs; I am cautious to not let it become a doctrine that I cannot break free from.
I like buffets. I like the ability to choose a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Salad bar, desert bar, protein bar, sushi bar; whatever it may be, I like the ability to pick and choose what I like. I can go back for seconds if I want more. I can try other foods that I didn’t try on my last round. Or, I can simply decide I have had my fill and wait. Perhaps later on I try something else and realize I should have just stopped. Nonetheless, I like choice.
I am a buffet believer. I don’t want to be tied down to just one set of beliefs. All my life, I have sampled different beliefs, religions, philosophies, perspectives, and more to see what suits my fancy. Some dishes were rather delicious and I return to those beliefs often. I will never skip out on the sushi.
But other times, I have tasted dishes that just made my stomach turn. They are too greasy for my liking. Other times, I think I have a hankering for something meaty yet sweet; I assume it will be delicate and tantalizing but then I discover it was too sweet and too rich for me.
Think of sweet and sour liver. Sweet and sour chicken is a fine complimentary pairing, however, liver requires a savory addition with lots of hot butter and onions and garlic. Mixing liver with sweet and sour sauce- I can only imagine what Gordon Ramsey would think of such an audacious combination!
In principle, many would frown- gasp even- at such a way to believe. For those like me that dance between doctrines, that reject pledges of allegiance and committed oaths to participate with one church for all time; we are shunned, labeled, demeaned and condescended. Something must be wrong with us, right?
Doctrines, dogmas, creeds and denominations are all awaiting membership and if you are not a member, then how do you know what you stand for? Conformity, after all, prevents chaos.
But does it?
I said I don’t skip the sushi, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s my favorite food. If I am being honest, I cannot necessarily say I have a favorite food nor do I have a favorite philosophy. How could I if I have yet to sample all?
The Narrow Line at the Buffet
How can I say I am firm in my beliefs if I have not sampled every belief available at the buffet?
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
I search for the narrow road and small gate because everyone else is already on the wide path. Everyone else is lining up for the crab legs on Friday night, while I am indulging the sushi bar and the salad bar. Why? No lines and lots of options!
Also, I don’t like to be limited. If I am standing in line waiting for the crab legs, I am missing out on consuming some pretty delicious choices that I already know are both nutritious for me and tasty. Also, there are always new dishes available that I could taste. But if I want what everyone else wants- the crab- we are in competition with one another.
When the Crab Runs Out
And what happens when the crab legs run out? Sometimes, they have more ready to go in the kitchen, but what if a lot of people are taking additional helpings of crab legs (like, far more than what their $18.95 covers) and I receive none?
What happens is that we all end up on the same wide path because we all cling to the idea that we all need to believe the same things; that we all need to be going the same way, on the same path, to the same destination.
Jesus says that “few will find it”- the path that leads to life. That’s because people aren’t seeking another option at the buffet table. Instead, everyone is hurrying over to the crab legs. When everyone wants crab legs and some don’t receive crab legs, you know there is going to be some destruction! Especially on a Friday night, in a casino.
Try it All?
Some people get pushed out of the way and have no other choice but to seek out another form of protein. Others will wait, but as the crab legs run low, so does their patience, but because they paid their fair share, they are going to get those crab legs, come hell or high water!
Why not try the sushi? Or the lettuce? Or the won-ton soup? Mashed potatoes are always a delectable choice. Why not try the curry chicken? Why just the crab?
Why just Christianity when there are so many other flavorful options to discover?