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Faith Does Not Promise To Keep Us Safe

Faith Does Not Promise To Keep Us Safe

My car has a monitor that turns on when I am backing up so that I can see what’s behind me.

It also has a warning system that beeps if I’m about to back up into something.

Foolproof, right?

Dang. You know what’s about to happen.

Yesterday I was backing out of my parking spot. I got distracted by waving at someone walking across the way. I wasn’t paying attention to the monitor. 

And then I kept backing up for some reason and my warning system didn’t beep at me.

So I hit the corner of a garage.

The red light cover on the back of my car is cracked and you can see an indented line running down the left side of the back of my car.

What the heck? 

I have all the safety features that should have protected me from this happening. But I was distracted and the beeping didn’t beep.

I have all the safety features that should have protected me from this happening. But I was distracted and the beeping didn’t beep.

Sometimes I wish life had safety features. You know, something that would go “beep, beep, beep” before I do something that might not be safe.

Life’s Safety Features?

And where is the monitor for our lives? Would that be our conscience? Maybe.

But then again, sometimes in order to make necessary changes we have to take risks that don’t guarantee our safety. I’m not suggesting you make any major life changes this summer. And I’m not suggesting that you start taking on risky behaviors. It’s good to be careful when you are backing out of a parking spot. You can cause some unnecessary damage. But life inherently involves risk. 

And so does the life of faith. Faith does not necessarily keep us. Safe. Faith is risky.

For example, the disciples could have lived a nice comfortable life in their family trades. Fishing wasn’t a bad way to make a living in the ancient world. But then Jesus came to them and invited them to take a risk and follow him. Would it lead to a crash? Well, in fact, they did crash. They abandoned and betrayed Jesus on his way to the cross. After that, tradition tells us that 11 of the 12 were killed, and the twelfth was exiled to an island. All for causing some good trouble.

Life involves risk. Some say that crossing the street is a risk. I suppose it is. Others think that faith gets us a free ticket to heaven when we die. But that’s not the point. The point is to take a risk. Because following Jesus, who risked his life to reveal God’s love for all people, is risky. I don’t need to tell you that it’s worth the risk. You have already taken the risk. You wouldn’t be reading this if you hadn’t. It’s the risk of love. It’s the risk of being in this community. It’s the risk of refusing to believe in a dog-eat-dog world and instead to take the risk to live as if love is the point. Because it is.

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Adam Ericksen

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