176. Timid or Reckless?

176. Timid or Reckless?

Pastor blog was replaced with pastor “email” for the last three months and now we are back to it!

If what gripped people when entering into COVID-19 was “fear,” I feel that it is “timidity” as we are moving out of it.

As a pastor leading a missional community through the unsafe period, I also struggle with this. It is easy to view safety and mission as two different things and believe one has be to sacrificed for the other. But we need both. All the time.

For safety, we need to be “careful.” Little things matter. It is not about doing what we want, but whatever that will protect everyone. Every mission of individual, community and organization fails when safety fails.

For mission, we need to be “courageous.” Risks will always be there. If the risk can be mitigated and is within a reasonable range, for the sake of the mission, we need to move forward despite it courageously.

Many people choose one or the other. Because to pursue both, we need to be in constant “tension” of living in both carefulness and courage. And we all prefer to remove tension, not live in it. It is why many people who struggle with faith choose to deny God, rather than continue to live in tension between faith and doubt they experience. Tension can be tiring and uncomfortable for everyone.

But as I’ve said before, maturity is the ability to live with tension. For us to mature, we need to be both careful and courageous.

Health care workers are a great example. They are meticulously careful. They religiously follow safety protocols. But they courageously fulfill their mission of helping people get healthy despite the potential health risk. Uncomfortable but inspiring.

I feel that following Jesus is the same. It is to live right in the middle of this tension. Be careful for the sake of others. But also stay courageous for the mission.

Choosing one or the other will be more comfortable. But when we do, we will become either timid (only safety) or reckless (only mission). None of it is an inspiring way to live life.

In this time of uncertainty, avoid the temptation to choose one over the other. We need both. Walking in the tension might be uncomfortable but will help us grow. Day and night are good too, but “Twilight,” which is the magical time daylight and darkness converge, is undoubtedly the most beautiful sight.