by Max Lucado
“Whoever tries to keep his life safe will lose it, and the man who is prepared to lose his life will preserve it.” Luke 17:33 (PHILLIPS)
“There are two ways to view life,” Jesus is saying, “those who protect it or those who pursue it. The wisest are not the ones with the most years in their lives, but the most life in their years.”
What Annie Dillard says about writing in The Writing Life is true about life: “One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, play it, lose it all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”
There is a rawness and a wonder to life. Pursue it. Hunt for it. Sell out to get it. Don’t listen to the whines of those who have settled for a second-rate life and want you to do the same so they won’t feel guilty. Your goal is not to live long; it’s to live.
Jesus says the options are clear. On one side there is the voice of safety. You can build a fire in the hearth, stay inside, and stay warm and dry and safe. You can’t get hurt if you never get out, right? You can’t be criticized for what you don’t try, right? You can’t fall if you don’t take a stand, right? You can’t lose your balance if you never climb, right? So, don’t try it. Take the safe route.
Or you can hear the voice of adventure—God’s adventure. Instead of building a fire in your hearth, build a fire in your heart. Follow God’s impulses. Adopt the child. Move overseas. Teach the class. Change careers. Run for office. Make a difference. Sure it isn’t safe, but what is?
You think staying inside out of the cold is safe? Jesus disagrees. “Whoever tries to keep his life safe will lose it.” I like the words of General Douglas MacArthur when he was seventy-eight: “Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.”
From He Still Moves Stones
Copyright 1995, Max Lucado