Sometimes a firm footing on solid dirt poses a graver risk than a wild-eyed leap over the edge. A blind jump off a 600 foot high locomotive bridge is an absurd risk – unless the Midnight Special barrels toward you. Your perception of risk adjusts in moments like these. Dark. Shrill whistle. Desperate. Lights blinding. Alone. Nothing below. Train thunders. Tracks roar. Leap.
It’s human nature to play it safe. We don’t ask a girl out until we get the proper signals. We don’t leave the job we despise until the next one is in the bag. Even in Vegas with the adrenaline rush of a high stakes gamble, the game is to pick the table you think offers the best odds for lady luck to roll your direction. They call it playing the odds and ends the alluring quest to minimize risk. We are a tribe of safe dwellers. We display a frequent aversion to risk..
God doesn’t. In fact, He rarely asks anything of us that doesn’t demand risk. Consider Abraham. God’s plan was daring, simple and woefully short on information. Abraham was simply called to pack up and leave. No map. No travel brochures of intriguing sites along the journey. No cloud to guide the way. Just go.
Abraham had a choice. He could sit, comfortable and content, enjoying peaceful days with familiar sunset – potential boredom but certainly safe. Or he could follow the deep soul stirring to run after God, a daring plunge into faith. Dangerous. Definitely not safe. But absolutely a life lived full on, drawn to more than near snug, amiable existence.
A paradox lurks in these moments of choice. What we believe is safe often really isn’t. If safety is only freedom from the physical harm, a timid refusal to God‘s adventure makes sense. But what if, rather than guarding our temporary comforts, ultimate safety demands are faint, moral hearts be captured by the purposes of God? If accurate, the lounging on the shore in a respectable distance from the torrential Gale – might be the most treacherous place of all. It’s a perilous safety.
So God asks us to risk. To move. We must choose. But we hesitate, uncertain. We don’t know where it leads. It is a fearful place – not knowing. As Marilyn Ferguson said, “It’s not so much that we are afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s a place in between that we fear. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold onto.”
Leap. Hold on to God. Anything else is a pair safety.
Read 2 Samuel 22. Take a risk this week. Confront that fear that has nag you.
God of danger, teach me to leap. Straight into Your arms.