On the surface, certain commitments are easy to make and often appear simple to keep. If one is willing to admit how often failure is a norm, the process of identifying the risks and threats can begin. Even though this connection should be a normal and integral part of our thinking process, we often hide from and ignore even the idea of the risks, threats, and potential hazards in our lives. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is a personal commitment, a matter of being safe, or being aware of individuals masquerading as friends yet are anything but, the natural tendency is to walk through life blissful and ignorant.
If in doubt pause and look around you in the subway of any major city. How hard is it to spot the tourist? In London the best examples are the Americans. Normal characteristics include loud talking, clothes distinctly American, and bags, mobiles, and sweaters hanging out just begging to be stolen. Distracting most groups is a simple process. On any given day you can find several examples lead one to believe “candid camera” is filming on location!
In contrast one finds those who make commitment, understand the risks, and put themselves on the line in order to accomplish their mission. It is absolutely extraordinary and inspiring to see someone living out their values and priorities when you and they know their careers, status, and even personal safety are at risk. When I see this happen, as I have recently, I find myself being filled with power and energy! I know that Jesus understood the threats in his day. When “Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living”, (John 12.1) he know there were big risks. Yet he and others today took a stand because of compassion, love, and a commitment to engage.
Today is an opportunity. As I remind myself o the values and priorities I talk about and hold dear, I realize there are risks; real, big, and terrifying. Yet the window is here; God help me, I’m going though.
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