No, these are not my words. Rather, this is the title of a book of poems by Luci Shaw. The full title is The Crime of Living Cautiously: Hearing God’s Call to Adventure. I’ve not read the book. But, the title would be worth the price of the book. Maybe this is because I am so encouraged by people who refuse to live cautiously.
On Tuesday evening, Charlotte and I went to a dinner hosted by our local chapter of Christian Women’s Job Corps. This is a fairly new organization in our area. It is staffed by some very fine people. Christian Women’s Job Corps is an organization that works with women who are in need of help so they can get a job and support themselves financially. The women this organization works with are often poor, have no job skills or education, or have experienced other big hurdles in life.
These women go through a ten-week training program. They are taught computer skills, life skills, interview skills, etc. There is a daily Bible class as well as a time to look at their personal strengths and weaknesses. Following this ten-week class, each woman has a mentor with another woman in the community for one year.
A number of their graduates, as well as some present students, were at this dinner. Two of the graduates spoke. I was struck by how many hurdles each one of them had faced and how they relied on God to get them through. I mention this because these women refused to live cautiously. Instead, they enrolled in this program and dared to risk.
Risk is a part of our faith-walk. Risk is a word I typically associate with people like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Risk is a short description of the lives of the people mentioned in Hebrews 11. Over and over, the writer describes these people by their faith in God. Their faith was not just the subject of a class discussion or sermon. Rather, it was the story of their lives.
This morning (a Thursday), I am feeling "cluttered." Maybe you can relate to this. It is kind of like ordering a combo platter of feelings.
- Some frustration.
- Some fatigue.
- A good sense of anticipation regarding the future. A feeling of encouragement as a result.
- A sense of satisfaction as a result of some conversations with a couple of friends.
Far too often, I have allowed whatever platter of feelings I have to rule the day. If I am up, it is going to be a good day! If I am down, it is going to be a not so good day. If I have a mix of feelings — the combo platter, who knows what the day will be like. Not a good way to live.
I want to trust God with my day. My feelings are real and they are important. But, I don’t want them to rule as if they were in complete command of my life. God — the living God — is active and involved in my life. You and I both can dare to trust his care, his love, and his desires. You and I can learn what it means to walk by faith. Imperfectly? Yes. Inconsistent at times? Yes. But, we continue to depend on him.
There is not adventure in living cautiously. That can simply be an effort to remain in control. Risk is all about trusting God — no matter how I feel when I begin my day.