Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

7.16.2010

Tightrope Walking


We are people who take risks where they don’t count.
We are people who have misplaced fear and false courage.
One person can proudly declare his love of sky-diving, yet the same person shakes in his boots to go up to someone and say, “I love you.”
One person can brazenly risk the known consequeces to take the Lord’s name in vain, yet the same one fears to shout “Praise the Lord” in church.

We don’t mind haggling and arguing for hours wih a weary customer service phone operator when we feel the company has slighted us, yet we fear to voice our opinion and say, “Oh—you think women should have the right to choose? Well what about the baby’s right to live?”
We risk smelling milk that is two days past the expiration date, and we’ll go upside down and around in circles at an insane speed on a roller coaster (and enjoy it!), but we’re too worried about how our voice will sound to join the choir.

We’ll sure risk hurting someone’s feelings if they cut us off on the road or take advantage of us or lie to us, but we would never dare to give a saddened response to a dirty joke and say, “I don’t think that’s funny.” It could offend.
We’ll risk embarassing a friend to warn her that her slip or undergarment is showing or to tell someone he has food stuck in his teeth, but never could we conquer our fear and actually, lovingly, and Biblically warn a friend of a sin he or she has fallen into.
We’ll risk losing our very womanliness to prove we can do whatever a man can, yet we fear to do what men cannot.

We’ll risk an eternity in hell every day that we put God off. We’ll risk our lives everyday by flying down a mounain on pieces of wood or flying over a mountain in an airplane or flying up a mountain’s cliff-edged roads in a car, or simply by ambling up a path—but we’re afraid of death.
We’ll risk what people think to commit a wrong-doing, but we would be too afraid to look a person in the eyes and say, “I have something to confess to you.”

We’ll risk the trust others put in us when we renege on a promise, but we still expect them to trust us. Nevertheless, we fear to allow a sister to borrow our white shirt.
We’ll risk our purity to watch or read something questionable, but could never risk our appearance of purity by staying accountable.

You and I take these risks because we have weighed the possible benefits and very real consequences and have calculated the benefits to outweigh the consequences so heavily as to make the risk worthwhile. But of what real worth are any of the benefits for which we risk so much? Believe you me, every idle word, every day of unrepentance, every sin is a calculated risk that we take, but we grossly miscalculate the benefits by one factor: cowardice. Taking these risks against the right is just as wrong as not risking doing the right thing at all. And taking useless risks simply shows how much energy we could channel into risking obedience. Let’s call a spade a spade: failing to do the right thing is not fearfulness but cowardice.

You’ll walk a tightrope a dizzying height above the ground, with all of the rest of the world cheering you on, so long as a pot of gold or a newspaper headline or a pat on the back waits on the other side. But pose a tightrope with no fame, fortune, or glory at the end, and you are suddenly alone and overwhelmed by fears. Suddenly you’re teetering on the edge, staring down at the bald heads of skyscrapers—you see nothing but a microscopic cable, and on the other side you spot Mockery and Embarassment waiting as your reward. You turn away—impossible. Suddenly, though, the voice of Jesus fills your ears with a calm power: “Do not be afraid; only believe. (Mark 5:36)” You take one step onto the tightrope—it shivers under you, and as your arms flail you desperately turn your eyes to the other side, and suddenly Mockery and Embarassment are gone and only One is visible there—your Redeemer Jesus. The rope firms, your arms steady, and you step out in faith, your eyes fixed on sovereign Jesus who took the greatest risk--humanly speaking--in the history of the world: He loved you.

This time, the risk is worth it.

Picture Credit

12 comments:

  1. What a great post! Thanks for the reminder about what's really important to take risks for.

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  2. Wow, Lauren.

    You can always tell something is going to be good when it starts off with giving you the chills.
    "One person can brazenly risk the known consequeces to take the Lord’s name in vain, yet the same one fears to shout 'Praise the Lord' in church."
    That is profound. I have never thought of the two together like that. Thank you.

    And the rest of this actical was amazing. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it.

    Keilah

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  3. Wow. Just...wow.

    Convicting. I have to mull it over and maybe read it a couple more times before I can say anymore than that. Very well done.

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  4. Yes, very nice indeed Mikaela. I agree with most everything you said, and surely missing the mark is a sign of cowardice. , of which I am sure we are all guilty. However, do you really think Jesus took a risk in loving those who would become his own? His sacrifice was certainly above and beyond anything we could ever experience or comprehend, but He knew the Father would give him those who would be His.

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  5. Lauren, thank you for the post - it was so, so good and has given me a lot to think about. Even here in Uganda, where people think I am taking a "risk," I daily have choices of whether or not I will take the "risks" that God has called me to take. Thank you!

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  6. I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God's blessings, Lloyd

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  7. Very enjoyable and encouraging!

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  8. I just returned from a weekend of camping to all of your delightful comments! Thanks to each one of you--Queen of the Rant, Tamara, Lloyd, MK, Brandy, and mormonhermitmom!
    Keilah--chills are the highest compliment you could give me! (-:
    Samantha--You are so sweet! This is something I struggle with myself, so it's good to know I'm not alone in it!
    Ruthie-It is so much a daily battle! And it's one of the heart, for that influences our decisions. Thanks!
    Alessandra--Thanks for your sweet comment (although I'm Lauren, I'm used to getting called Mikaela! ;-) Thanks for bringing this point out, as I see it could use some clarification. Perhaps I could have put it better…in any case, the verse I had in mind when I wrote “Jesus took the greatest risk in the history of the world” was Romans 5:7-8 “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” I completely agree that “He knew the Father would give Him those who would be His.” In saying Jesus took the risk, I did not intend to imply that He risked everything because He didn’t know how we would respond. Instead, I intended to mean that Jesus’ action is something that we humans would never do—we would consider it too great a risk, and so it is from our faulty, human perspective and compared to our human acts that it appears risky in the same way that God’s command to Noah to build an ark appears risky to our minds, even though it was a sure thing. He loved me, when I hated Him and nailed Him to a cross? He knew without a doubt before the foundations of the world that I would turn to Him, but I imagine that Mary and John and all the others standing around the cross simply saw His death as a risk. I hope this clarifies things, as I would never want to imply that Jesus was anything less than sovereign, omnipotent, and omniscient.

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  9. Very truthful and convicting. Thanks for your words.

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