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Risks, Righteousness, and the Illusion of Safety

Feb 24 2011

Being a juggler is all about taking risks. Being a juggler who performs rather than just juggles for recreation is even moreso. Every toss is a possible mistake. My life would feel a lot more 'safe' if I stuck to routines I've been performing successfully for years... or if I only juggled for fun and fitness... or if I just watched other jugglers on TV and never actually tried it myself...

In His book 'Wild Goose Chase', which I highly recommend, author Mark Batterson states, "Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death." This goes completely against much of the convertional wisdom that humankind has always followed. But for a follower of Jesus, this statement should be both profound and convicting.

First, we need to acknowledge the fact that all attempts at absolute safety are an illusion. While it's true that God would not have us live recklessly, it's also true that there are no guarantees of safety, ever. What conjures up a picture of peace and tranquility more than an Amish schoolhouse? Yet one such school was the site of mass murder just a few years ago. A few years earlier, Cassie Burnell arrived safely at Columbine High School, and was quietly studying in the library, when suddenly she became a martyr for her faith at the hands of two armed classmates. Planes can crash, houses can burn, lightning can strike, illusions of security can be shattered.

Now please don't misunderstand me, God has made us stewards of our lives and the lives of those in our care: children, elderly parents, students, etc. We must take good care of them. As Steve Camp said, "To live dangerously is not to live recklessly but righteously." So when something is RIGHT, we must do it uncompromisingly, fearlessly, or, perhaps, in spite of our fears. In other words, we must forgive without restraint, give without holding back, speak without watering down the truth, go on that mission trip without all the comforts of a tourist, visit the sick and imprisoned without judgement, confront sin without compromise, and open the most private places in our hearts to the Holy Spirit without excuse.

"Perfect love casts out all fear." I want to do more with the life Jesus has given me than simple live safely until I die.

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