Life can be the pits. Everywhere you look things are in a state of disarray. Kids mortally attacked from others even younger. Star athletes casually toss away family, friends, and everything they work in a fit of emotion. Institutions we were taught to trust deceive even those who have worked hard to maintain their existence. Friends, family, casual strangers on the street can turn in an instant from friend to life combatant; with little to explain the rationale or purpose.
It would be easy to retreat back into one’s shell. “Protect your self” is the mantra that guides all. “Take care of number one” shaped many of our actions. Even if one gets beyond the immediate physical challenge you will hit an emotional wall that easily destroys even the strongest! Everyone is vulnerable.
Yet life goes on, the challenges remain and seem to grow even larger, and opportunities to engage draw out the brave. I know “the loafer says, “There’s a lion on the loose! If I go out I’ll be eaten alive!”.” (Proverbs 22.13) Yet, there are those who accept the challenge and take on life as it is meant to be faced; up front and person, close and real, intimate, dirty, and beautiful all at the same time.
I watch amazed as the child rings 911 on behalf of a parent or sibling in distress. The calmness and sense of purpose defies the years. I am stunned when I read of one donating a kidney for another, especially when there is no known family connection or personal tie; just one person helping another. I find myself sitting in reflective silence as I discover quiet, hidden acts of grace extended in love from one to another with no sense of recompense or recognition.
On a good day life is risk. There are reasons and more reasons to stay unengaged. God could have easily written us off but he chose to accept every risk. The choice is simple; we can sit back of let life go on or we can become a participant in God’s plan.