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Taking risks

Taking risks

Dan Safarik

A construction crew was laying a drain line as part of a new building project. While excavating, the workmen uncovered a power cable directly in their path. The foreman called the electrician who was wiring the new building.

The electrician looked at the cable and assured the foreman that the cable was dead. “Just cut it out of your way.”

“Are you sure there is no danger?” the foreman asked.

“Absolutely,” was the reply.

The foreman then asked, “Well, then, will you cut it for us?”

The electrician hesitated a moment, and with a slight smile said, “Well, I’m not that sure.”

Life is full of risks. I’m not one to take very many risks. I usually like to play everything as safe as possible. When I play softball I try to leave one foot on first base and reach all the way to second if possible!

Risks leave a lot of us anxious and uncomfortable. When I was a pastor at the Eagle United Methodist Church, I felt God calling me to go door-to-door calling. As I walked up to a door of a complete stranger I argued with God about the wisdom of such behavior. What if I was interrupting a domestic dispute?

What I found was a lot of people with a lot of needs.

Most people were glad to visit. Some people came to church or brought their grandchildren to Sunday school. I got even smarter and had some of my members go with me. We eventually made a lot of good connections.

It seems that God has asked my to do a lot of risky stuff. Jesus asked some of his disciples to go out to the villages near by and preach and teach and heal. Great things happened. I’m sure they went in fear and trembling.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, took one of the greatest risks. She took the ultimate risk for a young woman of her age. She was willing to accept the idea, brought by a messenger, that she would conceive and give birth to the Messiah – basically by herself. We forget today how much she risked her life for the sake of Jesus. She took the risk of being ostracized by society or even to be stoned.

Edgar Gibson Jr. wrote these words about risk: “To laugh is to risk appearing a fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk rejection. To place our dreams before the crowd is to risk ridicule. To love is to risk not being loved in return. But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.”

It kind of feels like everything everyday is a risk.

It’s hard to know what to do or not do. Please don’t risk, foolishly, your health and the health of others.

Prayer: Our Lord, help us to reach out to others and share your love in ways that are physically safe but may be spiritually and emotionally risky. Amen

Pastor Dan Safarik serves at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Lincoln

The Rev. Dan Safarik serves St. Luke United Methodist Church in Lincoln. Email him at

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There are times in life when we wonder if God really cares. If God really cares, why doesn’t He prevent some of the terrible things that happen in the world? Why didn’t God prevent the Holocaust? Why doesn’t God prevent floods and tornadoes and earthquakes? Does God care? The answers might depend on our expectations. If we expect God to be like Superman who would squash the Hitlers of the world, then we’ll be disappointed. If we expect God to wave a magic wand and fix our problems, then we will be let down.

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