“Misc.” or “Whatever comes to my mind”

My friend said he was, quote: "troubled" by the Pistons loss on Thursday. I don’t know that I was thoroughly troubled by it, but I was rather disappointed. Not sure if I’d rather have the miraculous loss of Game 5, where the Pistons should have won, but didn’t, or the completely trashy loss of Game 7, where the Pistons didn’t really play well enough to deserve a win, but could have pulled it out down the stretch had a few plays gone their way.

I screwed my back up yesterday playing basketball. Doesn’t look like it’s going to be anything significant since it isn’t hurting much today, but it was a bugger yesterday. It was the first time in my life that I apparently became injured for no good reason besides my body giving out in some way or another. And it’s sort of demoralizing. Makes me feel old. I planted to pivot for a jumper at the top of the key and my lower back suddenly hurt and I went to my knees. No pop, no awkward movement, no fall…just pain.

Mom said a chiropractor told her that most back injuries aren’t because of one occurrence–they usually are "a long time coming" and something finally triggers it. So, my back probably had been coming to this point from some of the heavy lifting we did when moving dirt for the retaining wall; maybe too the increased running I’ve been doing and the lack of weight training in my life the past few months. But, that’s all speculation.

It is hot around here.

I really appreciated what John had to say at church today. Good stuff. Inspires me to continue seeking what the Lord has for me to do to impact the people of Jackson by being the creator made in his likeness that I am. I also loved the concept that we often seek refuge in lands that we were never made to settle in. We find refuge in our churches and their programs, our relationships and their emotions, our jobs and their satisfactions. But we were made to take refuge in the Lord and his strength (and his comfort and provision and holiness and healing… . The list goes on.)

Does the person of strong faith perceive risk the same way I do? Are things not "risky" at all if a person has the faith of a mustard seed, or perhaps child-like faith? I’m thinking through this whole "made in the image of God" idea and weighing which characteristics I desire in my life vs. those that are actually godly / biblical.

One thing I’ve desired is to be a "risk-taker"–a person who isn’t swayed by insurmountable odds, the words of nay-sayers or a bleak outlook; someone who is best when his back is against the wall and puts things on the line when it counts most. And for a while I’ve equated my desire of risk with a desire for faith.

But in processing those ideas in light of what I mentioned above, I’m not sure if it’s a godly desire. Was God a risk-taker? Did he consider the act of creation to be risky? No; it was an outpouring of love. Did he consider sending Christ to be a calculated gamble…"Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t…but I’m going to ‘step out in faith’ and believe that it will…"? Nope. Did Jesus find ministering to the sick and needy risky? I don’t think so; seem more like acts of love and simple reflections of who he was. What about going to the cross? Did that stretch his risk-tolerance? Maybe it stretched his will (…not my will, but thine…), but I don’t think he thought all the chips were on the table when he was being nailed.

I seems to me that grounded spiritual faith should overshadow physical risk-perception. Great faith should say it’s more risky to doubt God in the spiritual than it is to step out on a limb in the physical. In other words, taking a risk in the world’s eyes (or our own fleshy eyes) should not appear as a risk at all through spiritual eyes.

If faith is what Hebrews 11 says it is: "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see," then there isn’t much risk involved at all, because we are sure and certain of the outcome, like God and Christ are.

So, I’ve resolved that my desire for la viva loca (the wild life) is pretty fleshy. It’s a scream for adrenaline masked as a longing for deep faith; it would actually be a faith-killer requiring ignorance rather than insight.

Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a blogger, marketer and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

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