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Fringe, a TV show about weird, scientifically unexplainable events in the universe, debuted in 2008. It drew my interest at first because of the possibilities of the unknown. Because, well, exploring the mysteries of life is exciting.
“Fringe” can have a much broader definition than scientific anomalies. It has a connotation of “flaky” or “fragile.” If someone is teetering on the edge of an abyss they are on the fringe. They are one step away from slipping out of a meaningful existence. They are like Frodo when he puts on the evil ring; he must fight to not be drawn into the shadow world.
Non-Christians are on the Fringe
Without Christ, it’s easy to become lost in an endless pursuit of mysterious unknowns. Maybe there is something of substance beyond the fringe? Maybe an alien race is monitoring our every move. What else is out there?
You can become hooked on the lottery for the same reasons. Having lots of money sounds good, so it must be a good idea to buy into the lottery. I’ve got nothing else to do. I’ve got nothing to lose. — even though the odds of winning are small. You might say you have a fringe of a chance.
The craving to seek and discover is a good (God-given) desire. However, some people will tenaciously pursue strange, made-up phenomena, while at the same time refusing to acknowledge the existence of a real God that cries out to them through His creation.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.Romans 1:20 NIV
One definition of fringe is being “at the part of something that is farthest from the center.” This describes non-Christians quite well. They are present, able to see but choosing to face away from the center and pursue the outermost fringes of God’s creation. They keep hoping to find the fulfillment of their inner hunger in anything but God.
Are You, Christian, on The Fringe?
Another definition of fringe is “not completely belonging to or accepted by a group of people who share the same job, activities, etc.” It’s possible to be a Christian and know Christ, but still feel like you are on the fringe. This shouldn’t be so.
Do you feel like you are on the fringe? Are you hanging in the balance? Do you know you have worth, but can’t seem to feel your true worth in Christ?
Christ calls all who belong to Him to move toward Him. Because of His awesome sacrifice, all who are far away from the center are able to move toward the center.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.Hebrews 4:16 NIV
“I am weird” and “I am worthless” are lies. Just because others don’t understand you (even other Christians) or you haven’t found a way to meet your needs doesn’t mean you are fringe material. Every one of God’s people belongs.
Living according to God’s plan for you means you will need to walk a different path than others walk. You have God’s favor as you walk on the path He made for you (see John 21:20-23).
God smiles as He thinks of you. God is always thinking about you. God is smiling at you. Look up to see His face.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;Psalm 34:5 NLT
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
Learn more about belonging.
More on the TV show at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fringe_(TV_series)
Definition from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/on-the-fringes-of-something
Image by Aravind kumar from Pixabay
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.