Jim Roberts tells the story about visiting his son’s primary school class. The teacher had organized a game called, “Balloon Stomp.” A balloon is tied to the left leg of every kid. In a Darwinian survival of the fittest, the object is to stomp out everyone’s balloon while protecting your own. Last kid standing with an inflated balloon wins. The rules are clear. I win and everyone else looses. Roberts then describes how another class came into the room to play the same game. As soon as he saw what was about to happen, his heart sank. He thought to himself, “This is not right.” “The world should not be this way.” The new class featured kids with Down Syndrome. As the game begin it was clear that the rules were not clearly understood. The only part of the game these kids seem to understand was that every balloon needs to be popped. So they began helping each other pop their balloons. One kid got down on his knees, held his balloon like a football player teeing up a field goal, and encouraged another kid to step on his balloon. This scenario repeated itself until all the balloons were popped, at which point every kid celebrated the accomplishment. Everybody won. No one lost. Unified, they had accomplished the task.
I found six weeks away from the American media to be incredibly therapeutic. When I returned, the first thing that caught my eyes and ears was how those in the media and political arena are trying so hard to divide us. Every topic has become a “them” vs “us” issue. Why did we Americans allow our leaders to do this to us?Jesus said, “A house divided will not stand.” He wasn’t kidding. Until we cease assuming that everything the opposite side says is wrong, we will never come together again. Most positions on social and political issues feature some redeeming value. If we continue to speak quickly and ignore others completely, we will remain divided. Hate will grow. Knowledge will decrease. Society will disintegrate. The answer? Pray for a leader who will be quick to listen and slow to speak.
Jeff Vines, Lead Pastor of ONE&ALL Church
Published September 16, 2021
Today With Jeff Vines at ONE&ALL Media