Saturday, February 3, 2007

safety

why are americans obsessed with safety? i really think the heart of the "american dream" is safety. our comfort depends on living in a safe neighborhood, driving a safe enough car that has a high enough crash test rating, walking downtown at a safe enough distance from the homeless people that might be along a certain path, and the list could go on and on. everything we do must be safe. as some of you already know (and some may not) i am currently in the process of applying to spend a year in northern iraq with the kurds (more to come later). over the past few weeks people have asked me lots of questions, but the most popular seems to be along the lines of "why would you go there? it's not safe. there are guns and stuff." so i guess people in unsafe places don't need to hear about Jesus? is that how it works? i could be wrong, but it might be that telling people in the "unsafe" places about Jesus should be the church's top priority. don't get me wrong, safety is a blessing and God grants safety to His children SOMETIMES. but how can i, just because i was born in America, believe that safety is my right? i have Christian brothers and sisters all over the world who have never known what it means to be safe. how can i refuse to join them in the name of safety if i feel God is calling me to go? Jesus' closest friends, the ones who traveled with Him, the ones He chose to begin the work of reaching the nations, His beloved apostles - they renounced their own saftey the minute they chose to proclaim the reality of the risen Messiah. and all of them except one died for their Messiah (and they didn't die "safe" deaths). Paul was beaten numerous times and should have died long before he actually did. from the time he encountered Jesus on the road to damascus until the time he died, i don't think he was ever safe.

my mind is racing with much more on this topic, but perhaps the best thing to do is to refer to good ole c.s. lewis. he answers the question i've been asking myself about whether or not God really values safety with words from a few talking beavers. so here goes the conversation from "the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe":

Mr. Beaver: "...Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion."

Susan: "I'd thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

Mrs. Beaver: "That you will, dearie, and no mistake, if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."

Lucy: "Then he isn't safe?"

Mr. Beaver: "Safe, don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe?
'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."

so if my Jesus isn't safe, how can i expect that i should be safe? He in fact has promised that life with Him won't be safe. but it surely will be good! like mr. beaver said, "who said anyting about safe?" but i know for sure life with Christ is good, and i want to follow that goodness nomatter where it leads.

5 comments:

denise said...

i think safe leads to apathy and complacency. apathy and complacency are dangerous. therefore, safe = dangerous.

tanya said...

safe is boring! praying for you!

from the inside out said...

I have a feeling that even if/when we face danger, God will provide the feeling of safety. This happened to me last year when our neighbor who was a troubled young man, came to our house for help after he had just hurt himself reacting to his own anger. I was the only one home. Somehow I knew by going to his house and helping him, I would be safe. I know it was God who gave me the safe feeling. It didn't mean I wasn't on my guard, but I also didn't experience fear. It was actually an amazing experience, and with the way things turned out, if I had turned my back on him at the time due to fear, I would have had major guilt to deal with later.
Live dangerously!

hot-z said...

just checking in to see if you've started reading it yet...

Arlene said...

People should read this.

This blog is a testimony to the work that God is perpetually acting in my life. I am learning that when I think I've given enough of myself, I've barely begun. My prayer is that as God continues to grab hold of my life, not only will He become greater and I become less, but He will become ultimately supreme and I will vanish. This Holy Disappearance will be a lifelong journey in which, by the grace of God, I will become so wrapped up in Him that all of me will disappear and all of Him will SHINE