“Better safe than sorry”.
That’s the story of my life. Always taking the safe path. Never putting it out there. Never gambling on anything. Just like the third guy in Jesus’ Parable of the Talents:
“Here sir, your coin is safe. I didn’t lose it. Isn’t that great?”
Maybe that story isn’t really about “using your talents”. Maybe it’s about taking risks. About putting it all out there. As opposed to holding too tightly to precious things. Even Holy things. Even God’s things.
And I have always been extra careful with God’s things:
- I was afraid that if I invested my faith “out there”, beyond my own religious experience, I’d lose it.
- I was afraid that if I brought my “holy” life in contact with “unholy” people, I’d contaminate it.
- I was afraid that I would reap God’s wrath if I didn’t keep myself “unstained by the world”.
“I was afraid…”
That’s exactly what the third guy in the parable said.
So he erred on the side of caution. After all, he didn’t want to risk losing the master’s money. He didn’t want to contaminate it by mixing it in with some other “foreign” currency. So he hid it in a secret place. Where it would be … safe.
To his surprise, the master was not pleased with his conservative course of action.
Meanwhile, the other two guys brazenly carried their coins beyond the master’s gates. They invested them “out there”. They did business with “those people”. It was risky. They could have lost everything. Fools. Idiots. What were they thinking?
And yet, it seems the master was impressed by their reckless and irreverent handling of his treasures.
So what’s the deal?
- Could it be that when I take chances and challenge the old limits, God is actually cheering me on, instead of putting His foot down?
- Could it be that the Kingdom of God actually extends beyond just the ideas and the influences I’ve decided are “safe”?
- Could it be that keeping myself “unstained by the world” doesn’t mean hiding my light behind stained glass windows?
Could it be that God is telling me to take risks?
With His stuff?
Crazy, isn’t it?