Tom Holmes, 17 03 26
As I begin this, it is 11:53 am. On Sunday, March 26, 2017. I am sitting in front of my computer rather than standing in front of the congregations I serve because there is a freezing rain warning in effect. At this point I feel a little guilty because the freezing rain and even the rain stopped quite some time ago, at least here. I am not sure of what has happened in Roslin and Thomasburg.
I know I shouldn’t feel guilty because the wisdom of my age tells me that “it is better to be safe than sorry”. How much would I regret my actions of not cancelling the service this morning if I were to have an accident, or worse still, if one of you did?
I wonder how many times you and I have found ourselves caught between the real or potential regret of doing something and the potential or real regret of not doing that very same thing. Life is filled with choices, so probably, more often that we care admit.
Keeping ourselves and those we care about safe, is for most of us, the natural thing to do. But is it always the wisest choice? Sure, if, when our children were young, playing outside and they came running home to show us what they had found, which turned out to be a very old stick of dynamite, we would have traded our safety for theirs and gently taken the dynamite from them and carried it off some distance, even if that meant leaving them alone, hoping we would return to call the police to have that dynamite disposed of in a controlled manner. That’s a no brainer. But what about the danger of letting them learn to walk? Would it have been wise to not let them learn for fear of them falling and bruising a knee or banging their head? Seems to me that’s a no-brainer as well. There are many things we need to learn as we grow up that requires putting ourselves in danger as we try and fail and try again. Otherwise, none of us would ever have learned to ride a bike, play sports, learn ideas new to us, began dating and/or chose a potential mate. All of these things exposed us one kind of danger or another. Because we did do those things, we could say of ourselves that we are fairly brave.
But what about learning to walk with God? Are we equally as brave? In writing this, I discovered how much I like that phrase, “learning to walk with God”. It is such an apt description of the process we enter and hopefully never cease. Just like learning to physically walk from point “a” to point “b”, it is only by overcoming our fears of falling, of getting hurt and of failure that we can succeed. Yes, we may fall many times over taking those first steps of learning to do what God has asked of us. Yes, each of those falls may expose us significant pain. And yes, we may feel like a failure repeatedly. However, each of those falls brings us one fall closer to not falling, each of those hurts are avenues God can use to teach us something of ourselves, God and others. And, the word “failure”, never applies to doing as God asks us, even when we never see what we would know to be success.
So, let’s be brave again! Let’s enter or re-engage our walk with God. Let’s be more concerned about getting good at walking than our fears of falling, hurts and failure. Let’s be more motivated by God’s definition of success (faithfulness) than ours. Let us become who God has created us to be!