Ever noticed how obsessed our culture is with safety? We limit things in order to provide the safest environment. A big example of this is the desire to limit or altogether ban the legal purchase and ownership of guns. Now no worries, this is not a political post expressing a view on gun laws, but the argument itself is an example of our fears on safety, and the natural reactions we take to limit risks. We want to remove as many obstacles as we can to ensure the best chance of success.
We look for guarantees in life. We look for the solution to the best possible outcome as we take our journey in the world. In truth what we look for is cheat codes for life. You remember back in the days of gaming when there were cheat codes for everything in a video game. For unlimited health press up, left, left, right, down, A, A, B, A, B left and up at the time, enter.
We don’t just want safety in terms of guns, but our culture as a whole has an obsession with safety in success. We must always weigh the risks against the rewards. We always need to look for the sure thing. Some of this is good advice. Every child should learn the old motto of look before you leap. However, every child should also be reminded that any leap automatically carries with it risk. Standing on the same branch forever is not going to work because eventually that branch will get old, decay, and die. We must look before we leap, but we must not be so stunned with fear over the very though of the jump itself that we hesitate ourselves into falling off the dead branch.
What am I getting at here? You need to move forward in life. Moving forward will look differently for you than it may for me. However, you must live life. You need to be willing to put yourself out there for Christ. You need to be willing to take chances and risks. You can’t wait for all the “guns” in the world to be band. Even without the guns there are plenty of bats, axes, knives, holes, cliffs, etc. Going through life will require getting beat up, but it is most certainly a life worth living.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10). Christ came to give us life. He did not come for us to hide in our comfort zones. We were meant to do something with the gift we are given. Instead we hoard up all we can in our lives. We refuse to take any risks for Christ. What we find is that we are greeted by a thief who robs us of our joy and happiness.
Maybe this means you need to talk to that friend about the gospel. Perhaps it means you need to get out of your current predicament that may not be dragging you down a negative path, but it certainly is not drawing you closer to Christ. Perhaps you need to simply just start moving even if you are not entirely aware of the direction to go in. The church is full of people who are just sitting still waiting for the safe jump. The safe jump simply does not exist.
When Israel left Egypt they were thrown into a predicament. They came across the red sea only to discover that Egypt’s soldiers were on their tail after making a switch in their decision. God provides a way of escape. He opens up a new road to them. It is interesting to realize this road was not created until the crisis lay before Israel. What was this new road? It was the parting of the Red Sea. Now people debate over just how deep this water was. Some people scoff at the movie version of this miracle in “The Prince of Egypt” saying it was not a section of the water that was a legitimate “sea”. I honestly do not know, and neither do I really care because the important details to remember are the ones already provided for us. This separation was enough water so that when it collapsed on the Egyptian soldiers they were wiped out.
Think about Israel’s situation though. They most surely cannot stay put, but this new road does not seem altogether safe. In truth it wasn’t entirely safe. It is not the road a random traveler would have picked if given a choice, but Israel was not given a choice. It was either go or be left to the soldiers. They looked before they leapt, but the danger still seemed great. Either wait on this branch that is breaking or take a jump that for all purposes seems just as perilous as waiting on the branch.
God provided a way of escape. He provided an opportunity for Israel to move forward for them to continue to honor and follow Him. It was not the way of escape they would have chosen for themselves though. It was not guarantee of success for them despite the fact God was in control. What path is God leading your towards that from our mortal standards seems to perilous? Do you trust Him enough to lead you down that path anyway?