With much trepidation and in the same manner as a chicken walking through an alligator farm, I went to the Robertson County Fair a couple of weeks ago. It was everything an ant colony on steroids wants to be when it grows up and explodes. Now, before you get all uppity and think America invented fairs, think again. Fairs were mentioned in the Bible. “Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs” (Ezekiel 27:12 KJV). There was nothing biblical about this fair unless you consider long lines, questionable livestock odors, and under-achieving  tank tops as the 11th, 12th, and 13th plagues.  

I did experience something new at the livestock exhibit. I got to see people hosing down their cows, a phrase that would more likely come from the mouth of Mr. Haney on “Green Acres.” I assume this was in preparation for judging because the next thing I saw was what looked like those same people vacuuming those same cows. Upon closer inspection I realized they were not using vacuums but bovine-sized hair dryers. It was almost as amazing as the grilled chicken-on-a-stick. That chicken was huge. Believe me when I tell you that the only way you could get a stick on that chicken would be to surprise him.         

Every fair I have ever attended has what is referred to as “The Midway.” Loosely interpreted, the Midway is a spot inside the fair that is halfway between the sublime and the ridiculous. At our county fair the sublime would be the  Exhibition Hall and livestock section, and the ridiculous would be the young man I saw dancing in front of a space with the title of “Funny Farm.” It was designed as a fun place for preschoolers to chill out and give their parents a break but with the young man flailing around the idea of Funny Farm took on a whole new meaning.

The fair is not the only place that has a Midway. The Christian life has one also. For the Christian, the Midway is when we find ourselves halfway between serving God and doing nothing. It is an uncomfortable place and not where God wants us to be. Ever find yourself there? Do you spend more time serving something else besides God? Just like the fair, there are too many distractions and other things to entertain us and take us away from doing what we know we ought to be doing.

We are going to serve something. Every Christian has to decide what that something will be. Joshua 24:15 says, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (NIV). Every fair has games of chance on the Midway. I say chance because very little skill is involved.  One of the game barkers was trying to encourage me to attempt a whiffle ball toss. When I walked by he said, “It’s your turn. You’re up!” Christian, God is telling us the same thing. Make a decision. Serve Him. Don’t get caught on the Midway.

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