After miles of wandering around in the dark, a weary traveler enters a lonely gas station. The attendant is perched on a stool behind the cash register with her eyes glued to the pages of a paperback novel.
Attempting to make his presence known, he clears his throat with great exaggeration. “Uh-huh-hum!”
“Yes?” the attendant asks, not bothering to lift her gaze.
“I’m looking for a road map,” the traveler responds.
The attendant’s head pops up, her brown eyes shifting all around the store to see if anyone else is hearing this conversation. With a deer in the headlights look on her face, she responds directly, “No, sir. We don’t carry road maps.”
“Oh, well can you tell me where another gas station is that might have one?”
Annoyed, the attendant looks up once again and replies emphatically, “You’re not gonna find one around these parts.”
“What do you mean? Surely there’s a road map somewhere in this town that can help me figure out where I’m going!”
“Nope. Road maps don’t exist for this area. And if I were you, I wouldn’t go around asking for one, or else folks are going to assume you’re one of those kind of people.”
“What do you mean, ‘road maps don’t exist for this area?’ Surely this frequently traveled path isn’t uncharted territory! And what do you mean, ‘one of those kind of people?’ What are you talking about?” the traveler asks with great irritation.
“I mean no one is familiar enough with this region to create a road map! If you get caught asking for one, the police will know that you’re one of those people –– one who doesn’t know where they’ve been and doesn’t know where they’re going! We don’t allow that around here, mister, so get lost!”
“I am lost!” the traveler screams, quickly losing his patience. “That’s why I’m here — asking for a road map!”
“Look, you’re not going to find a road map around here! And if you ask again, I’m calling the cops!” the attendant threatens, hands on hips, eye balls protruding out of sockets and neck veins swelling with a combination of adrenaline and righteous indignation.
“This is ridiculous! Am I on Candid Camera? Am I being Punk’d? This can’t be real!” the traveler insists.
Of course, this scenario is a bit on the ridiculous side. But I believe it’s a pretty accurate description of what’s happening inside the Christian community today. Too many folks are wandering around in a foreign land, some suspecting — but most not even realizing — that we are lost. We have no clear sense of direction. No one we can ask for a road map. Search for one and we may be labeled “one of those kinds of people.”
The foreign land I’m referring to, of course, is this sex-saturated culture we live in, these sexually stimulated (or sexually dormant) bodies we inhabit, and these sexually motivated (or sexually frozen) minds that we operate out of. With the promise of heavenly perfection, restoration, and complete redemption yet on the horizon, we’re merely lost travelers here and now, trying to get our bearings and make sense of both our sexuality and our spirituality — the common denominators we all share regardless of our age, gender, race, denominational background, education level, economic status, and so on.