I am clinging to the map of “both/and” as I travel the path to eternity filled with questions.
Is God justice or mercy? Both/and.
Did He pre-determine a plan for our lives or do we get to choose our own way? Both/and.
But I have yet to find a path on this journey that doesn’t eventually split into an “either/or” choice.
Free will demands that there will be decisions to make.
Truth is what it is and cannot contradict itself.
The both/and philosophy includes this reality: there will be both questions that can be answered with both/and and questions that require an either/or decision to be made.
St Mark chapter 14 describes the betrayal of Jesus.
First by Judas.
Then by the false witnesses and the high priest.
Finally, even by Peter.
As I’m standing at the crossroads of an either/or decision, I see His trial happening all over again.
I am in the position of Judas.
The world is clamoring to destroy Him.
They just need someone to hand Him over, and I know exactly where He is and how to please them.
“And when he was come, immediately going up to him, he saith: Hail, Rabbi; and he kissed him. But they laid hands on him, and held him.” St Mark 14:45-46
I am in the position of the witnesses.
Stating one opinion, then promptly switching to the next.
Contradiction and confusion swirling around me like the wind forming a storm.
“For many bore false witness against him, and their evidences were not agreeing.” ~St Mark 14:56
I am in the position of the high priest.
I have heard His claims, clearly and simply stated.
I have seen how He lives and how He is asking His followers to live.
But His way is not what I had expected or planned.
In fact, it would throw everything I had worked for off course.
To start over would mean sacrificing everything while everyone is watching.
So I demand to know what authority He has to make commands and declare them as truth.
“Again the high priest asked him and said to him: Art thou the Son of the blessed God? And Jesus said to him: I am.” ~St Mark 14:61-62
I am in the position of Peter.
Called out for being on His side, but too cowardly to admit it.
“Thou also was with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying: I neither know nor understand what thou says.” ~St Mark 14:67-68
I look into His eyes as I hold Him on trial for my either/or decision, knowing that refusing to participate is not a way out.
Indecision leads to a miserable path in itself.
My heart pleads with my ego.
Don’t fall in with Judas, throwing Perfection to the mob to destroy.
Don’t be the high priest, willing to remove Him so I can keep doing it my way.
Don’t insist with Peter that I know nothing.
He both is the truth and has the authority.
Don’t hold Him on trial.
Pick up your cross and stand trial with Him.
He is God.
Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me. ~St John 14:6