Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Of Faith & Risk

I allowed my son to do something terrible (in the eyes of some) this past week while my wife was at a retreat. It was just me and Joshua at home together. You know - father/son bonding time. I thought I'd let him explore a little, so I allow him to try out a couple of the steps on our staircase. Before you knew it, he was propelling himself with no problem. He was obviously enjoying his freedom.

My son was unaware of all the risks he was taking. What if he would fall? What if I couldn't catch him in time? What if I had passed out for an unexplained reason? What if there had been an earthquake? What if the staircase couldn't hold him? What if...

The difference between Joshua and me is that I'm smarter because of experience. I know when I'm taking a risk. My son did not. What is it then that propells us to take a risk and other times to play it safe? It's called fear. Fear of (you fill in the blank). Failure. Financial ruin. Physical harm. Emotional scarring. Ridicule.

The Bible recounts that Peter, when he walked on water, acted on impulse. It wasn't until he was on top of the water that he realized the risk he took. He didn't calculate it until he got out of the boat. Nonetheless, you'll hear people say that Peter wasn't the failure...there was a boat load of failures who did nothing.

I want to be a Water Walker. I want to be like my son. I want to take risks when God shows me the way (but not the details), opens a door (but doesn't turn on the light), gives me an opportunity (but doesn't tell me the end result). Sure, "calculated risk" is what I've lived on for years...using human means to make sure that I'm not stupid. I'm not talking about being ignorant of the facts. But I am talking about acting when God makes it clear that He wants me to trust Him.

God help me to ACT when you call me to trust you. Thank you for being behind me in the stairwell as I take each step of risk - even when I'm unaware of the danger and risk around me.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Are You a BTS Person?

I've come to appreciate "behind-the-scenes" (BTS) people. They go about their business. They do what they are asked to do. They seek no credit. They want no applause. They seldom are seen by the public.

When do we tend to notice these invisible faces? Sad to say, it's most likely when they screw up. When BTS people serve faithfully and do well, they go unnoticed. But the minute they forget to clean-up or follow-thru, they are the talk of the town.

When you think of BTS people - who comes immediately to your mind? Maybe it's someone in your family. Maybe someone at church. School? Work? Wherever it is, they are probably a regular person who doesn't want your thanks. They prefer behind-the-scenes because they don't want to be noticed.

Who are these people in my world? Here are a few who I've come to appreciate, but didn't always know they were there. They remain nameless - like they tend to want to be...
  • The lady who empties my office trash can.
  • The people who pick-up my trash.
  • The person who provided a banjo for me.
  • The people on the mezzanine in church who support what is happening on stage.
  • The couple who makes distributes music to groups.
  • The one who provides clean cloths everyweek.
  • The singer in the choir who never asks to sing a solo.
  • The one who writes an encouraging post on someone's website who doesn't even know the other person.
  • The people who setup the set and tear it down, but aren't a part of the show.