We are a generation of thrill seekers. For fun, we like living on the edge. We pursue adventure through risk. We like our recreation dangerous and our sports extreme.
As for me, I laugh at danger—as long as it’s from a safe distance. Countless times I’ve stared death in the face—through a pair of high powered binoculars.
I mean, I’m all for daring adventure as long as it’s reasonable. I would like to scale Mount Everest someday—if they build a staircase with a handrail. Bungee jumping sounds like fun—if they would just let me down slowly. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m afraid of heights. I’m just uncomfortable with the idea of falling from them.
When it comes to risky, edgy experiences, I’m a lot like Walter Mitty. I have an active imagination, but I’ve never actually done anything “noteworthy or mentionable.”
Well, that’s not entirely true.
I have gone to a place where many of the bravest men dare not go. The very thought of this place is terrifying. Nowhere else do we feel more threatened. Most of us never make the journey to this destination because we’re convinced that we won’t survive the trip.
Not only have I lived to tell about my terrifying adventures in that dangerous place, but I plan to go back. The rewards are worth the risk.
If we are to claim the gospel treasures of personal connection, relational intimacy, deep soul healing, and spiritual growth, we must be willing to go to that place called Vulnerability. For those of us who’ve never been there before, the place is easy to recognize because it’s a large clearing. There is no cover. Our souls are completely exposed, laid bare for all to see.
We must allow ourselves to be seen if we are ever to be known. In order to receive the healing love of the Redeemer, we must stop hiding in the protective cover of our false selves and come out into the open. The enemy tells us if we ever dare to go to that place we’ll never make it out alive.
The truth is, transparent spiritual community is where real life is found. The Spirit inhabits our “shared brokenness” and ministers to us the restorative healing our hearts so desperately need.
My first experience of spiritual vulnerability felt like being pushed out of an airplane without a parachute. Since then, every time I make that trip I feel some trepidation.
But if we are to become fully alive we must become part of a community of extreme risk takers who invite the Spirit to take us on the dangerous journey that leads to our reward.
In your life, how has extreme risk-taking led to reward?