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. “Fringe” can have a much broader definition than scientific anomalies.
The word fringe 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.
Without Christ it’s easy to become lost into 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” — 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 phenomenon, 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 the non-Christian 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.
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, 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 (away from the fringe). 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.
More on the Fringe TV show at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fringe_(TV_series)
Definitions of fringe from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/on-the-fringes-of-something
Image by Aravind kumar from Pixabay
Thank you for this, I often feel this way due to past experiences. It really is a battle of the mind. I’m a mum with an art background and I just took a bold step and started studying Ministry. I am also doing an internship at church. I don’t really know where I fit in yet and it does make me feel like an alien.
Thanks for your comment. I’m glad this helped.
Many people experience not fitting in at church. I believe this is one of the biggest growth areas of the church. Finding your gifting is one way to find our fit. But we also need to feel the fit as we connect with other members of the body of Christ. We need validation of our abilities. Don’t give up looking for how you fit. It exists. God made you for a purpose. He wants you to know what it is. Finding connection with other people who can validate your fit is challenging. But this is God’s plan for all of us.
Darlene J Harris says
Very good article! Thank you!