Thursday, 7 May 2009

To risk or not to risk ...

Earlier this week Maggi Dawn, in a reflection on the Good Shepherd lectionary readings from last Sunday, gave a number of examples of how risk taking is essential to life and very much part of the gospel. I particularly appreciated her citing of Jeanette Winterson

Winterson ... talked about the light between two darks - the dark of interior struggle and exterior struggle. The Light is the creative space in between.
Risk is quite interesting as a value. On the one hand we try to encourage "young people" not to engage in risky behaviour yet on the other hand something that is at least packaged as risk is sold to us sometimes as the sexy, new alternative. Does giving things a more, at least supposedly, "risky" veneer make them more attractive? Maggi wrote a really good second post on the subject, relating risk to the good shepherd values in a different way, was the community John was writing for one so frightened of persecution that the call to risk going outside the fold would have been very real for them?
I remain in two minds about risk - the gospel has a double message of absolute grace and security at the same time as a real call to go beyond, to leave the comfort zone and set out in trust. As I try to discern what the call to leave comfort and trust in grace may mean for me I begin to see that the greatest risk may be in getting too comfortable and assuming that this comfort is grace. Reflecting on what Maggi has written helps me to see that I need to take the risk to trust in grace.