And so to core value number 7. As human beings we have a tendency towards comfort. We tend to avoid pain, discomfort or challenge as much as possible if left to our own devices. Even when we have taken a big risk, perhaps to start something new, we still tend towards safety, predictability and the new boundaries we have become familiar with. It is human nature.
Nobody enjoys being uncomfortable. Yet when we pause and reflect on our lives, the times we have been willing to take a step beyond our comfort are often the times which we have grown the most. The same is often true in our journey of faith.
The simplest way of thinking about faith is that it is trust. In the case of a Christian it is the trust that God is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do. Surely when our faith or our trust is based on such a firm foundation it would hardly seem like risk at all. Except the reality is that we can be very good at espousing the fact that God is faithful but when it comes to taking that first step out of the boat to walk on water our emotions tend to overrule our heads!
It was John Wimber who made the phrase “Faith is spelt R.I.S.K.” popular. His point being that you can’t claim to have faith or trust in God if you never actually take a risk! You can tell me you think the bungee rope is secure and won’t snap but it is not until you have left the safety of the jumping platform and are descending ever faster that you have exercised your faith. If we are not careful we end up intellectualising our trust in God.
Personally, I have seen time and time again that when I have felt uncomfortable and been in a place where I must depend on God I have seen the most amazing things happen. Whether it was saying yes to an opportunity that felt too big for me or whether it was approaching a person I don’t know on the street to pray for them. Or perhaps it was simply to pray the hundredth time for healing for someone who is still sick.
On the other side of RISK is a whole realm of possibility, comfort is overrated. God promised us a comforter, the Holy Spirit, precisely because he knew we would be uncomfortable.
In our school, we do pursue the relational safety that is found in community and in the love of God. Though not as a final goal. It is from the security of our relationship with God and the encouragement of our brothers and sisters that we are prepared to take a step of risk. As we take a risk we discover again and again that God is faithful, that he desires to move in our world, more than us.
Discipleship works best in a culture of risk and world changers have always been risk takers.