Safety consumes a lot of our attention; from airbags to bug repellent, alarm systems to insurance policies. But the greatest source of danger might be the One you are praying will keep you safe. His plans for you are disruptive, risky, adventurous, and costly. But those are the same plans that give you meaning in life. Without them, and without Him, well, why bother?
Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, stated that, “A safe life is a wasted life!”
To avoid risk, many of us have instituted “safety procedures” that sound like this:
– “I can’t spend time in that area of town with those people — someone who is more used to that kind of life should reach them.”
– “I’m not going to get too involved at the church with personal relationships — after all, I could get hurt.”
– “God can ask me to do anything, but I know He’s not going to ask me to go overseas, because its not safe to be in foreign countries, especially for my kids.”
– “I’m not going to sacrificially give to the Lord’s work, because I need to make sure I’m solid financially.”
– “I do care about people’s souls, but I don’t think I should be very vocal at work about my Christian faith — after all, my reputation and even my career might be damaged.”
– “We can’t do that in our church, we’ve never done it that way before.”
– “If I sell out totally to God, and really trust Him to take over my life, He might ask me to do something I’m not prepared to do!”
The list could probably go on and on, filled with statements of denial and rationalization — all in the name of “safety.” It seems clear enough, however, that Jesus was a dangerous man. Being with Him was a dangerous occupation. Most of His followers faced great risks, even torture and death!
Could our preoccupation with safety rob us of the adventurous, purposeful life that God planned for us?
Consider the words of our Lord “…whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:24) A whole lot of people are wasting their lives in order to protect themselves from harm. Missing what matters most for what matters little. Forfeiting eternal things for temporary ones.
Following God is hazardous.
In case you think I’m overstating my case, I’ll conclude with Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 11, when he reported:
I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas….