A word I often reflect on is “safe.” In a sometimes crazy, chaotic, and stressful world, many of us desire to feel safe. Safety is a basic human yearning.
For some of us a song or hymn makes us feel safe. I love the hymn, “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love.” When this hymn is sung in worship, I feel safe. The hymn brings me back to my childhood. I imagine my mother and father with me. I imagine them telling me that life is okay and God is fully present.
Others of us feel safe when we enter sacred space. Sacred space is a setting or place in which we feel peacefully and fully present with God. Sacred space might be the sanctuary on Sunday, a spot in the woods, or the local coffee shop or restaurant. I love an empty golf course early in the morning before anyone is out.
I think it is good to feel safe. We need to be reminded of the goodness of this world and feel God’s love in a full and complete way. At the same time, we can’t stay in a place of safety forever. At some point, we have to move out into the community and the world. Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, once said, “It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity.”
Jesus took time to ponder and reflect on his relationship with God, the Father. Jesus sought out those safe places to pray and meditate, yet Jesus never lived a safe life. Every day in his short ministry he taught, preached, and healed. He had a lot to do in a limited amount of time. He constantly shared the importance of leaving a safe place and living a life of faithfulness and service in the present moment. The message Jesus gave was to expand our circles of spirituality, care, and concern in all we do.
This month we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday in the life of the church. In Acts 2:1-2, we read, “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” (NIV) Pentecost reminds us of the power of the Holy Spirit to make a difference in the world. We frequently need a nudge or push to get out there and make a difference. The Holy Spirit does this.
Ultimately, I believe we need some balance. We need those “safe” times when all is well. We also need those times of aggressively doing something “new” that impacts our life as well as the lives of those around us. Let us keep moving forward as a people of faith . . . and the Spirit!
A Thousand Blessings! Scott