"Well done thou good and faithful servant." Matt 25:21
Life, as God designed it, was always meant to be an adventure, filled with things we believed we could do and then we tried. Whether we succeeded or failed was never the point. It was the act of attempting something new that made life worth living. Looking around and wondering what anyone would think about what we had just done was never to enter our minds. To attempt new and daring escapades was meant to be the gold standard for those created in the image of God. But something happened to us all in the process of growing up that our Creator never intended. We got our hand burnt on the stove. We were laughed at by some cowardly moron on a gym floor. Somebody, somewhere, at a time firmly fixed in our memory, politely reminded us to stay in our lane or risk being devoured by a dreaded monster called defeat. In other words, they woefully told us to stop venturing out and testing the waters of a new experience. But a safe place, where failure is not possible, is the beginning of the end. You might as well sit down in your easy chair and enjoy your game shows. You might as well consign yourself to live your life vicariously through some bachelor or bachelorette. Let’s all watch the 10 o’clock news to find out what everyone else is doing. Do I hear the grave calling? The smell of the pine box is in the air.
Invisible dog fences work. Sight unseen, tiny electrical charges zap old fido, keeping him from roaming the neighborhood or biting the little enchants toddling about the call-de-sac. Big ferocious canines are brought to their knees by a humble dog collar clipped securely in place. Bark and growl all you want Cujo, you won’t be ripping the roof off of my car anytime soon. What invisible people fences surround your life, threatening to juice you if you venture out too far?
In the parable of the talents, three different men were given three different gifts. The first two did well and were rewarded as good and faithful servants. They were then both given greater responsibilities. It was the third man whom Jesus described as wicked and lazy. He decided to bury the one talent he was given because he was afraid of his master. His explanation for doing so revealed that he had miscalculated his lord. Believing that his master was a harsh man and would quickly punish him if he lost the one talent he decided to “play it safe” and bury it in the ground. For him the gamble of living was not worth the risk of failure and so he displeased his Lord.
What has God given you to do? Have you stopped asking that question? What was the last book you read or wrote? What was the last adventure you went on where you could have fallen flat on your face? Have you stopped singing, teaching, reading, living? Turn off Jeopardy and begin to live again.