Naked and Afraid

The images of September 11, 2001 are
indelibly fixed in the minds of everyone who
witnessed that tragedy—whether in person or
on television. One thing that I will never forget—
and I know I am not alone in this—is the images
and discussions of public safety personnel
running toward the danger. While the vast
majority of folks were naturally running away
from the carnage, firefighters and police officers
were running into it. It is humbling and it is
convicting to consider what those men and
women put on the line to save others. Even
more convicting is the realization that many
made the ultimate sacrifice that day, the type of
sacrifice that in a different context Abraham
Lincoln aptly referred to as giving the “last full
measure of devotion.” Those public safety
personnel were devoted to helping and saving
other people, regardless of the cost. I cannot
imagine doing that. And I cannot imagine
forgetting that other people did it, and still do it.
For most of us, it is not in our nature to run
toward difficulty. Mainstream wisdom is to take
the road more traveled. To walk the path of
least resistance. To go the easier route. Thus,
when things get tough, most of us tend to look
for a way to get away from it. This is
understandable, and it is perfectly normal. Yet
we are Christ-followers, and we have been
assured that the walk with our Savior will have
significant twists and turns.
God often invites us to places that are
uncomfortable, demanding, testing, and even
painful. He does this because he himself often
resides there. God wants us to be near him. In
order to do so, we will have to tread some
dangerous ground. But God always gives us the
choice to come near, or to run away.
Which are we doing? Are we running toward
God, or are we running away? –Ricky

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