Playing It Safe

29861When he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them because they were hurting and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus said to his followers, “There are many people to harvest but only a few workers to help harvest them. Pray to the Lord, who owns the harvest, that he will send more workers to gather his harvest.” (Matthew 9:36-38)

We need to help. We need to step up and do the work God intends for us.

Are you willing to be where you need to be at all times regardless of questions, concerns, and danger?

We hear and use language about safety often:

  • “Be safe.”
  • “Safe travels.”
  • “Play it safe.”
  • “Better to be on the safe side.”

We seek safety. We want the people we love to be safe. There’s security in safety. Even those who thrive on adventure would prefer to be safe at the end of the adventure. We often want a thrill, but it’s a time-limited experience. We don’t live on the constant high of a thrill. We also want an underlying, dependable foundation of security.

When I visited Israel, soldiers were everywhere. We went through many checkpoints while driving throughout Israel. We walked across the checkpoints after visiting Bethlehem, which is Palestinian-controlled. We walked through metal detectors to enter the mall and other large department stores or areas. Even though I’m unaccustomed to seeing so many people walking around with weapons, I never felt threatened. Being the leader of the group, I felt responsible and was always aware of what was going on around us. So if anyone would have felt threatened, it likely would have been me.

The Ben Gurion (Tel Aviv) airport was the most thorough airport security I’ve ever experienced. Even through the long lines, lifting my bags up and down on conveyor belts, opening my suitcases and shifting everything in them, emptying every bag of all electronics, and answering a wide array of questions, I didn’t feel interrogated or offended. I didn’t feel my rights were being infringed upon. I felt a bit more safe – actually, a lot more safe.

One day near the end of our trip, our car approached a checkpoint. As our car slowed without stopping, an officer peeked inside and motioned us onward. I asked our driver what the point of the checkpoint is when, from my experiences, people are rarely stopped. His answer: “You Americans are more sensitive and less secure. We’re less sensitive and more secure.”

Travelling through Israel made me think about sensitivity, safety, and security. Security does not equal safety. Security is freedom or protection from fear and anxiety. It doesn’t insure no harm comes to you. It’s a vigilant position. It’s not pulling a “security” blanket over your head and hiding. In that case, “security blanket” is an oxymoron. Security is taking the blanket off, keeping your eyes and ears open and watching for anything out of the ordinary…not just for you but for everyone else. Not to be paranoid but to be attentive.

The ultimate security you can have has nothing to do with your safety. You might be safe here on earth, but are you secure – for eternity? God’s the best security blanket you’ll ever have. And he never covers his eyes.

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. 2 Samuel 22:33

It’s time to step up and do the work God calls you to do.

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