Safety

So…I have been pondering recently the concept of personal safety, not from the emotional standpoint that I usually refer to, but more relating to physical safety.

When I moved into my current neighborhood, one that has an intersection with the highest overall crime rate in Dallas, I definitely considered my physical safety. What if I get shot? Mugged? Worse…. But the truth of it for me came down to a quite simple theological principle I do believe in, but less often live out: Being in the center of God’s will is always the safest place to be.

The truth is, though it’s uncommon, I could get shot in Highland Park (a very upper class neighborhood in Dallas). I could be murdered there. Wouldn’t I rather move to a place where I am going to follow God and enjoy the doors He opens there for ministering to kids and families, rather than selfishly live out my days just trying to protect myself from “danger”?

I began thinking about this more when I considered 10 medical missionaries who were murdered in the last couple of weeks. One of my friends serves with them. Why in the world would he put himself in that type of danger?

I have been to several estate sales in the last month here in Dallas. I am glad that I have gone, though their purpose to me has been a bit morbid. They have reminded me of the emptiness of living without a hope beyond the moment- a hope beyond this life. For years people can collect the nicest of things, but by the time death comes knocking- and it will for all of us- what do we have to show for it? Most of the “stuff” for sale would have at one time been immensely popular and expensive. But with the passing of time, a lot of it is just “stuff” to get rid of- unwanted items by family members who are grieving a loss. I don’t believe it is wrong to have nice “stuff.” I am just reminded of the emptiness of pursuing it as one’s hope. What’s behind it? What’s my purpose? Am I living for something beyond the moment?

Though putting oneself in “harm’s way” sounds ridiculous to most, I want to live with purpose, with meaning. As the band Fuel says, “All that shimmers in this world is sure to fade.”  I don’t want to get distracted with the things that shimmer.  I am going to pick living in the center of God’s will- the safest place I know to be.

~jkh

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