A ship is safe at harbor, but that's not what ships are for.
Fear is something that we all deal with. Even the toughest, most secure of people have something they fear. Some people struggle heavily with fear, while others just have fleeting moments. Either way, fear affects everyone.
Fear can cause all sorts of problems:
-Fear of failure often causes people not to try in the first place- after all, you can't fail if you don't try.
- Fear of losing loved ones can cause us to be unnecessarily clingy.
- Fear of what others may think leads the individual to avoid making friends.
- Fear of disappointing others can cause a person to take drastic measures to accomplish their goals.
Fear is a poison that keeps us from living the life we were meant to live.
When a ship is docked in the harbor, it is safe. There is very little threat of sinking, crashing, or being damaged. The ship need not fear it's fate, nor will it get lost. But if the ropes and anchors were tethered from the ship, it would be released into a world of possibilities. The ship could, in fact, crash and sink, but it could also do a lot of good. It could deliver people to a new destination, have adventure on the high seas, and go to fantastic places, if it leaves its harbor.
We are much like the ship. We can stay in our safe place, our harbor. We can do everything exactly as we did yesterday...and the day before. We can continue on in our little world and we would probably be fairly happy. But, if we severed ties with the things holding us in one place, we may go on grand adventures. help others on their journey, and become much more than we ever dreamed possible.
But these adventure come at a price. They require taking chances and having faith. They require hard work, scary moments, and perseverance. Being safe is much easier. But being safe leaves very little room for growth.
Being safe is something we all seek out. We all want to feel secure- to know all is well. We want to be guaranteed that everything will work out and there won't be any danger of failure or hurt. But safety only exists where we are willing to be complacent.
God never called us to be safe. He never called us to be complacent. God calls us to love. To go whenever and wherever He says. He calls us to risk our lives (if necessary) for Him. He calls us to live out our faith every day.
So what does that actually look like, this not being safe?
-It means talking to a stranger about the Lord
-It means offering your favorite jacket to the homeless man on the side of the road
-It means speaking up when your friends want to do something that isn't Biblical
-It means letting go of things that hold you back from growing in Christ- whether money, or status, or people, or comfort
-It means giving your extra money to those in need
-Maybe, at times, it even means holding your tongue when you want to lash out.
-Maybe it means simply loving on your enemy.
-Maybe leaving harbor doesn't mean reckless, so much as it just means righteousness.
Think for a minute about that last one...
Basically, before you start selling all you have and living in a hut in Africa, remember, sometimes leaving the harbor just means doing what is right, whatever is glorifying to God, and whatever God is calling you to do. Sometimes it just means being willing to be unsafe. Sometimes, when we leave the harbor, there are smooth seas and sailing. But we must be prepared and willing for the danger. And we must be willing to go through that. But in order to experience it all, we must leave the harbor.