Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Call on me

I'm going through Patrick Morley's The Man in the Mirror with some friends. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, but it's a great survey of issues that men face: purpose, priorities, relationships, etc. At one point I seem to remember his advising (I couldn't find it just now though) against putting oneself in a risky position so that God would "have to" bail you out.

In other words, don't take useless risks. This way of thinking appeals to me. I mean, to me risk is just a four-letter word.

But as a counterpoint to that, we were sitting in church some months back, and heard someone describe her efforts to establish a transition home for kids turning 18 and rotating out of foster care, or something like this. She had felt God leading her in this direction and ended up in a situation, where, well, God "had to" bail her out. (Which he did, by moving some generous donor -- an individual or a foundation -- to give a huge gift, so the ministry could stay afloat and its founder would herself remain solvent.) This is not the sort of risk I would take on myself, but I had to admire this woman's guts.

Today's reading from the psalms includes this verse:
...and call upon me in the day of trouble.
I shall rescue you
and you will honor me.
from Psalm 50.15
This doesn't tell us to live a life of folly and imprudent risk, but it provides a counterpoint for people like me, who tend to think no risk too worthy to avoid. It reminds me that life is not a game where the object is to avoid problems and arrive safely at... the day I die.

Rather, it's to be passionately engaged with the Lord, to know and follow him every day. And sometimes I guess that means to be willing to grow, which means to change. And it may mean not trying quite so hard to avoid the "day of trouble", which will come to each one of us, inevitably, anyway.

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