I am in 6th grade at Pine Mountain Middle School. I am the girl who grew 3 feet last year and is now taller than everyone. No matter what I do, my red cotton shorts with white piping look as if they are pulled way too high. Boys don’t like me because I am taller than them. I may not be the most popular girl in school but my wings and corkscrew curls are forever perfectly in place.
The sweltering Georgia heat makes me sweat in places I won’t mention. Kids squeal with excitement as they rush out to the covered play area for recess. The kickball gods strut their stuff as we line up like a cattle call. “Let’s pick teams,” they shout.
My right fist positions on my 6th grader hip as my size 8 shoe taps with anticipation. The most popular girl in school parades around us, waiving her chunky, pink sidewalk chalk over her flippy blonde hair. “Time for team pickin,’” she announces with authority. She kneels down and draws one powdery line across the sizzling black asphalt. Teams are selected. Each team stands on either side of the thick pink line.
A long time ago, Moses drew a line in the sand and picked teams too. Only Moses didn’t have pink sidewalk chalk in a covered play area. He had a staff that he pushed into the sand instead. He chiseled a line from one end of the camp to the other. The people had to choose whether they were on God’s side or not.
While Moses and God have their Ten Commandment meeting on the mountain, the Israelites become restless. The people toss their jewelry into the burning flames. The melted gold shapes into the image of a calf. The gold plated calf becomes their focus of praise. Moses returns to find the people prancing around the things they themselves created. In anger, Moses smashes the tablets cracking them into a million pieces. Forty days worth of work shattered in an instant--I’d be a little mad too.
Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies.[b] 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the LORD’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him,” Exodus 32:26 (New Living Translation).
At this moment Moses draws a line in the sand. He instructs the people to pick a side. Three thousand people boldly take a step against God over the sandy windblown line. They are wiped out and destroyed. The people standing alongside Moses on the opposite side receive God’s blessing.
Sometimes we finish a kickball match with clean clothes and perfect hair. However, sometimes the kickball smacks the side of our leg resulting in a round, red welt tattooed across our extremity for the rest of the day.
We may get beat up; we may even limp a little; wounds may turn into scars; but as long as we are on the right side of the pink chalky line, we know we are always on a winning team!