Either / Or?

You’re Either The Statue Or The Pigeon Sitting On Top Of It

My old neighbor from Saskatchewan is not a preacher, but he is one of those un-ordained folks that can give you a sermon about anything. Ed was bent on sermonizing yesterday when he phoned me, because I answered, “Okay, I guess, when he asked me, “How are you?”

Usually, when I set Ed off, it blows over quickly, but yesterday he got stuck in his need to straighten me out about giving him the kind of answer he wants to hear. He started in, “Give me a definite answer either you are good or sick as a dog. You must be able to say if you are either an energizer bunny or a dead battery. You are either Dr. Jekyll or Dr. Hyde. You’ re the statue or the pigeon sitting on it. I hate it when I do not get a straight answer to a simple question,” Ed lectured me.

I told Ed, “Usually when people ask the question, how are you, they don’t care what you say as long as it is brief and a meaningless formality. Folks do not want you to start listing your ailments, tests, operations, and doctors. I need to be ambivalent about how I am as I could be feeling okay until I get a phone call, a toothache, or a headache. To keep you happy I will tell you that I am positively okay, I guess. How we are doing can change in a heartbeat.”

Sometimes we need to deal with the reality that it will either be life or death immediately in front of us. Folks on Indonesia’s AirAsia Flight QZ535 traveling from Australia to Bali, founded themselves experiencing a 24,000-foot drop in altitude. Oxygen masks dropped down for passengers in their roller-coaster, gut-wrenching plunge downward more than four miles in about nine minutes. It seemed that the plane could or would crash, and it might be either death or some survivors left alive to talk of the crash.

Chris Jeaness was a passenger who was planning to propose to his girlfriend, Casey when they got to Bali. Since it seemed they might never make it to Bali, he proposed as the plane was nosediving downward. In the face of a possible crash and death, Chris focused on his love for his girlfriend. Whatever time they had left he was going to keep expressing his love for his girlfriend. Casey, his girlfriend, said yes to the marriage proposal even if there might never be a wedding in their future. Many on the plane could not think of anything but that they might be about to crash and die. In spite, of an uncertain future, Chris and Casey could think about their love for each other and made a commitment to each other for whatever time they had before them. Thankfully, the plane did not crash, and it did arrive in Bali safely.

As Christians, we may not know when or how but we will die. Like Chris and Casey, it is always the right time to focus our love towards our God, parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, neighbors, etc. It is not how much time we have before us, but spending it in love rather than fear.

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