Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ruthless Trust

This weekend we traveled from Columbus to Charlotte to see our second born son and his wife. They live in a section of the city called Belmont. It's not an area I would choose to live in, but it is potentially an “up and coming” neighborhood. Currently it is an area with a very low percentage of owner occupied housing (26%) and high crime, but it is also an area targeted for revitalization. In the meantime you have to park your car off the street at night and behind the safety of a six foot privacy fence. You also have to have an alarm system which they have along with two Labrador Retrievers. Still upon leaving their house in the “city” and traveling home to our house in the "burbs” my
wife asked if I was afraid for them. The answer I'm afraid is "yes". But then I'm a parent and being a parent you'll supposed to worry. Nevertheless I am excited for them. I'm excited because they are doing in so many ways is what I'm afraid to do. Not that I am ready into move to an area like their's but that I want to live a life of courage like theirs.

Too many of us I'm afraid, are paralyzed from doing something that even borders on risk. Yet I have come to realize, everything is risky. Even staying home can be hazardous to your health. You can stay home in bed-but that may make you one of the half-million Americans who require emergency room treatment each year for injuries sustained while falling out of bed. You can cover your windows-but that may make you
one of the ten people a year who accidentally hang themselves on the cords of venetian blinds. Again everything is risky.

For me God is calling me to "get out of the boat". That's not just risky but ruthless. Ruthless Trust is the title of a book by Brennan Manning. It's a book my wife and I read to each other on the way down to Charlotte this weekend and again on our way back. In it the author admits that, "the biggest obstacle on his journey of trust has been, an oppressive sense of insecurity, inadequacy and inferiority and low self-esteem.” I have to admit I feel at times I feel the same way, paralyzed by a sense of insecurity, inadequacy, inferiority and low self-esteem. I am tempted to stay in the boat or worse sink while
trying to walk on water. What I need as Manning says, "is a fresh conversion, a fresh conversion from mistrust to trust- a conversion that must be renewed daily" and is rooted in the unfaltering love of God and the irreversible forgiveness of Jesus Christ. After all my son is now the new Neighborhood Crime Watch captain!


clayburkle said...

Great stuff. Welcome to the blogosphere. You embody the heart of getting-out-of-the boat and following Jesus. The imprint of your journey-language is everywhere that I turn. Keep walking and sharing what you are learning.

Rindy said...

I can so relate to this. I'm being challenged to get out of the boat and it is an incredible feeling. I love that God is in charge---it makes it so much easier (even though what He is asking is tougher..hmmm...hope that makes sense!)

Jeff King said...


Someone mentioned your website and I followed it here to your blog. It's good to catch up to you again.

"Ruthless Trust", what a fantastic book. I don't know if you remember, but a few years ago I gave you a copy of another Manning book, "The Ragamuffin Gospel." It's just another reminder of how we try so hard to be what we THINK God wants us to be when we should be more concerned with just being ourselves WITH Him.

I'm glad to see that you're doing well. Looks like I have quite a bit more blog reading to do to catch up.