Is it Safe or Is it Good?
C. S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors. I suspect that is true for many people. I love the Chronicles of Narnia – they are stories of adventure, risk and danger as four young people set out to save the world. Many of you will be familiar with the section in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when Lucy enquires what Aslan, the great Lion, is really like:
“Is – is he a man?” asked Lucy. “Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly.
“Certainly not. I tell you, he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts?
Aslan is a lion, the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh,” said Susan, “I thought he was a man.
Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” “Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe.
But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.”
Aslan is not safe, but he is good.
God is not safe, but He is good.
Therein lies the challenge for many of us. Our God, and therefore our lives, have become too safe. We need to learn the freedom and the joy and the exhilaration that come from following a God who calls us to take risks. Our God is compassionate and merciful and strong and loving and good, but He is not safe.
Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose the sight of the shore.
Jesus did not come to found a religion. He came to change the world. Christ’s intention was certainly not that those who followed Him would end up living lives of boring irrelevance locked away from the challenges of society. He came to turn an upside-down world the right way up, and all who claim to follow Him are called to participate in this same purpose. He came to call us to a risky life of pursuit. He wants us to step into His story, to see a bigger picture through His eyes. He invites us to say “Yes” to Him and to follow where that takes us. He wants us to live His way.
You, like me, want your life to count. You have read the same Bible as I have and you have heard some of the things that Jesus says. Things like:
I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
We do not want to limp across the finish line; we want to stride across it. We want to follow Him into a life of glorious possibility. We want to learn how to take risks again.
I want to live well. I want to reach the end of each day and know that I have really lived.
I want to grab the cup of life and drink deeply, tasting every moment and the potential of every encounter.
I don’t want to paddle in the shallows of existence; I want to swim in the ocean of being alive. I want to make a difference. For all of that to be true, however, I must learn what it is to take risks. Wherever we are and whatever we do, our lives matter. Our choices matter. We matter. We are ordinary people with an extraordinary power. We are part of the most dynamic family on earth – we are the church.
God sets us free.
He liberates us for life.
He opens the cage of sin and lets us out.
He gives us the freedom of walking in His ways and the noble task of living according to His purposes. He enlists us in a movement that is called to change the world.
He gives us what we need by equipping us for the task and emboldening us for the cause.
To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw,
We are not called to look at our lives as they are with resignation and shout, “Why?” We are called to catch a glimpse of our lives as they could be, springing out of what God has done for us, and shout, “Why not?”
"You can live a safe life. Or you can live a full life. You can’t live both."
When our yearning to make a difference becomes greater than our acceptance of the status quo, then we are ready to embark on the most exciting journey of our lives. That is the journey to become all that God has made us to be.
This is the life God has intended for us.
It is what we were born to be.
Jesus calls his followers away from the shallows of predictability to live on the edge of possibilities where God does his best work in us.
Remember this, take a risk.
When we can be one?
Natalie Grant-Be One