Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Put Yourself In Difficult Situations

You a morning person? Do you just jump straight out of bed in the morning, ready to face the adventures, opportunities and madness another day brings? I've known people like this.

And you're all crazy.

I'm not much of a morning person. Neither is my wife Jenny for that matter. Or my daughter Brooke. So mornings are interesting at our house, ha ha.

We pretty much all just slam our heads back onto our pillows, pull the covers up and try to use the force of our collective wills to stop time from continuing on. At that moment, the thing I want to do most in the world is to stay in my bed.

Why? Because it's comfortable there. Because it's warm. Dark (under covers, remember?). Soft. Inviting. Safe...Yeah, safe works...

It's safe there. The cold air can't get you. The morning light can't either. Or the noise, or the problems of the day, or anything else except your own morning breath.

We're naturally wired for self-preservation

I think that if we're not intentional, we will find my attitude towards morning invading all aspects of our lives. And I think that if you're attempting to follow Christ, that is the exact opposite of what you should be doing.

Because he's not going into safe places.

Jesus didn't travel where it was warm and inviting. Where he'd be protected from danger.

In the gospels he was preaching publicly in the synagogues, on mountainsides, with large crowds of people. Public places. Where he could easily be arrested, beaten, stoned, just plain killed for upsetting the religious order of things.

He deliberately made himself vulnerable

Paul took the same lead. He went to areas where people publicly debated philosophy & religion and brought the message of Jesus there. He traveled beyond the safety of Jerusalem to start churches, beyond the safety of the Roman Empire in some cases even.

I believe that if we are following Jesus we will find him leading us into difficult and dangerous situations.

To be honest, I often think we should be rushing into them. Places where we'd have something to lose. Emotional and spiritual places as well as physical. Places where we can lose our pretenses. Lose our pride. Lose parts of us that are valuable as well. Our security. Our safety.

We should be deliberately making ourselves vulnerable as Jesus did.

  • Look for difficult conversations that we may feel uncomfortable having.
  • Don't be content surrounding ourselves with people who think like us or act like us.
  • Push yourself to constantly do and give more.
  • Don't ever let ourselves get.
  • We should be so radical with our forgiveness that it really does cost us something.
  • Put ourselves into harm's way, in order to get others out

It's hard for me.

I like being under the covers better.