Nitty Gritty #2 was meant to be an immediate sequel to Nitty Gritty #1. But then I had a hospital visit, which could not be ignored. So this is a continuation of Nitty Gritty 1.
I have tried about 3 different beginnings to this post, but don’t seem to know how to communicate what I would like to communicate to you. It is at this time where I lament not being a Star Trek Betazoid, because then you would know exactly what I mean without me needing to bumble through it.
But I’ll do my best.
Risk is important. This is the conclusion I have come to in the last few months. Risk is essential to a healthy faith. By Risk I don’t mean jumping off of buildings or eating week-old Chinese food. I mean, essentially, putting faith into action by doing something wild, crazy, and uncomfortably Godly.
Risk is, essentially, faith put into action. If faith is the reality of things not seen, faith in action means doing things according to the unseen. That means loving somebody who is gross, because you see the unseen beauty in him or her. That means talking to that crazy dude on the bus because you have faith that there is a huge amount of Christ in that person. That means making a crazy decision which makes entirely no sense to anybody but you and God – giving away your car to a family who needs it, letting a stranger move in with you simply because he or she needs a place to stay. Quitting your job so that you can have more time to feed your spiritual life.
I think one of the biggest things I miss about Waves of Grace Church is that there were a bunch of people who really, honestly believed that miracles could and did happen. That God works in ways which seemed totally looney. Together, we would support each other in listening to those crazy Godly urges to do crazy Godly things. And really cool amazing things happened. I really believe that it is because we put our faith into action, and took risks which seemed utterly insane to others . . . and to us!
There is nothing more terrifying, or more fun, than stepping out, doing something that you know doesn’t make sense, but you are following that inner yearning, the inner voice, to carry out God’s will. That’s golden. And that’s how I grow. It’s a great way to be challenged, to allow God to do wild and crazy and fun and beautiful things in my life and in the lives of other’s around me. I need to remember to not always play it safe. Some friends and I are considering moving into the north end. I must admit that in many ways that really scares me. I’m not sure if I will feel completely safe. It’s definitely a risk. But perhaps it is time for me to stand and discover my prejudices, to take a risk, to move into a new community, and have the opportunity for Christ to change me through that community, and that community through me. Amazing things could happen, and if the door opens I want to seize that opportunity. . I have no real valid reason for not wanting to live in the North End besides my own potential discomfort. Discomfort is one of the worst reasons that I can think of for not doing something.
I am not suggesting that we all jump into the bear’s cage at the Assiniboine Zoo or anything. That’s just dumb. But I do urge you to, when you have a wacky urging or opportunity, to really explore it. Is this something God is urging you to do? Does this have potential to create great character development for yourself or others? Don’t just shrug it off – this just might be your ark moment. I’m sure Noah questioned his sanity for awhile, as everyone else questioned him. But he took a risk – and great things happened.
Faith without works is dead. Likewise, faith without risk is irrelevant.