Monday, August 07, 2006

Could you put someone's eye out that way?

I took an elbow to the cheekbone in a pick-up game of basketball Friday night. The shock was worse than the pain, so I shook it off and kept playing.

When the game was over I found a mirror in the men’s room and noticed a small slice and some puffiness just below my right eye. It was probably going to swell some more. It did. By morning it had also turned several shades of red and purple.

Several people have advised me that it might be time to consider giving up basketball. Maybe I should admit I am getting older, they offer with seemingly sincere concern for my well-being.

I am not ready to concede that I am too old for a pick-up game of basketball, but I have given thought to whether or not this accident means I should consider finding calmer hobbies. I don’t think so.

I can’t imagine giving up basketball just because I took an elbow to my cheek. Such a risk is part of the game; anyone who is afraid of the possibility of such a minor injury, it is true, doesn’t belong on a basketball court. I enjoy playing basketball enough, though, it is worth the risk.

It seems to me that to attempt to live a risk-free life would be incredibly boring. It also seems to me that many of us Christians have attempted to live just such a life, at least in spiritual terms. In the interest of reducing risk, we seek tame, docile, boring lives, then we wonder why we don’t know the joy that King David, Nehemiah, Peter and Paul knew.

Jesus offers us not just life, but abundant, full, joyous life. It will come with some risk. I believe it is worth the risk to live the life Jesus invites all of us to live.


At 1:49 PM, Blogger Mark Winter said...

Good post, Steve. Most people would never think of putting "risk" and "Christianity" in the same sentence. Strange, given the fact that our leader put his faith in 12 ragtag disciples, challenged the religio-political establishment of his day and laid his life down for the whole world--even his enemies.

Preach on, brother.

At 10:11 AM, Blogger Joshua M. said...

Great post, Steve. It seems like being in full time ministry we get some good opportunities to take risks for our faith. How can we find ways to show laypersons (particularly those who see church as a waste of time, perhaps because they feel it's simply redundant) ways to take risks in their faith? What I mean is, ministry itself is about taking risks. How do we share this opportunity with other disciples?

At 5:46 PM, Blogger NMayes said...

For early Christians, it was just a risk being Christian and in some parts of the world it's that way still. I think Jesus challenges all of us to do something "risky" in His name.


At 6:12 PM, Anonymous Maureen said...

In response to Joshua M---We are supposed to go and tell what we have seen and heard. When we tell someone about a prayer that God answered in a miraculous way, when people can see God at work in our lives, when they can see how excited we are about Jesus, when they can see that fire,joy, and enthusiasm (God in us), it is usually contagious. They need to see that taking the risks is worth it.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Paul G. said...

How timely, Steve. Last night at a Bible study, I challenged the youth to get involved in a casue for other people. I cannot explain the looks that were over their faces, and finally one said "Why would we do that? We don't have time." I almost teared up there. There was almost no risk involved, but because a cause would eat into personal/phone/internet time they rejected it.

We have been conditioned to not look at risk as an opportunity, but as something that needs to be mitigated and managed. Keep me accountable here - I don't want to be one who manages risk, but one you risks it all for the Gospel.

You have struck a chord here Steve. I could go on for a while longer, but thanks for your post.


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