1Once again a message came to me from the Lord: 2“Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land choose one of their own to be a watchman. 3When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. 4Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. 5They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. 6But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’
7“Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. 8If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 9But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself.(Ezekiel 33:1-9, NET)
It’s a sobering passage that preaching, prophesying, and teaching carries with it an extraordinary amount of weight. Once you lose this perception of just how responsible you are as a message bringer you will often chase after the gods of popularity and acceptability and growth by justifiable means will eventually overextend. Ultimately failure of not only the messenger, but the entire nation is on the horizon without supernatural intervention.
My hope for Regeneration is that I set the bar high for those who share the pulpit with me and those who will follow me in this regard. That not only will we expect change from everyone else, but that we will be willing to see the enemies that arise in our own lives and change first.
Feel free to hold me to that.
This is also compounded by several factors. Some take risks in order to acquire more comfort. Some refuse risk in order to maintain or even protect comfort. Some take risk without regard to comfort. Some are motivated by greed. Some are motivated by pride. Some are motivated by God. Some are motivated by guilt and shame. Some are motivated by a moral desire to just do the right thing.
So, the questions with which we are left are:
Is it the right time?
What is my motivation for seeking comfort or for taking risk?
What fears are involved?
When I fail is there room for redemption?
What I have recognized is that I am standing at a threshold. Inside the doorway is a warm fire, a leather recliner, the smell of hot coffee and cinnamon is in the air, Barber’s Adagio for strings playing softly in the background and is slightly louder than the murmur of the company of people you love. I’m familiar with all of these and am drawn to these things. I may even long for them at the end of a long day.
On the other side of the doorway is also something I am drawn to and may even long for after a long day, but I am unfamiliar with it because it is only an idea and not a reality. It excites me, motivates me, ignites me to move and will move me…change me…drastically impact the reality I know. All of that is good but I an hindered from stepping across the threshold by the comfort of what I know and by the work that is going to be required if I do.
Work without a guarantee of success. Work that will result in blood, sweat and tears being shed. Work that will be painful emotionally and physically. Work that could destroy the opportunity to experience the comfort of what is inside the threshold.
What I have been trying to do is be a comfort seeking risk taker. What I have now understood is that those two things cannot coexist.