Tim Bohlke » // writings

The Danger of Safety

What if the most risky and dangerous thing is not coming too close to the edge, but staying back where it is safe… staying in that place where things are known and more secure…

We have had some great family adventures over the years, but one of our favorites was a long road trip through Utah and Arizona several years ago. There were stops to see some awesome national parks, incredible hikes, and some jet skiing on Lake Powell (an absolute must if you have not been there!).  But maybe the top spot was getting to the north rim of the Grand Canyon at sunset and taking a mule ride down the rim the next morning. Our kids were  pretty young and one of the things I remember was how much time we spent reminding them to stay back from the edge of the canyon, to not get too close. With a risk-taking twelve-year old who often walked to the beat of his own drum,we were never all that comfortable. Our understandable instincts were to protect and  insulate our kids from risk; to keep them safe.

As I thought about this lately, I began to wonder if these messages of safety, of pulling back, of not getting too close we heard as children, and this image of staying back from the edge and not taking a risk. have stuck with us as adults, especially in our spiritual journeys. I wonder if pulling back from the edge  keeps us from experiencing the kind of life we were meant to live. I just wonder if there is a lot more to think about here.

What if the edge is actually  the place we need to go? What if there is opportunity, adventure, risk, needed perspective, and life-giving mission and necessary vision that can only be seen from that vantage point?

What if it is actually more risky to settle in, stay safe, stay back in the places where we are familiar and comfortable? What if the most dangerous choice is actually staying a few feet back, settling in and allowing our view to be hindered?

I think  it’s time for me to venture out, to get off the beaten path, and take a look at some things  from a different vantage point…

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