Safe vs. Safe...

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I aspire to be a safe person. I also aspire to be an unsafe person.

False-community is prevalent. We've all been let down in a time of need when we thought our friends/family/church/ were going to be there for us. People who you thought you could share your "stuff" with turned around and hurt you with that very "stuff". Someone you trust turns out to be someone not-so trustworthy and all of the sudden gossip is spreading like a cancer.

This is the area that I desire to be a safe person.

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To be a person someone can spill their guts to without the risk of rejection, without the pain of judgment, without the chance of lost confidentiality. This is difficult because everyone wants to have the scoop on someone else. We all want to feel more important or as if we have a leg up on a subject over someone else. It's a part of our nature to want to gossip, whether it's in the form of a water-cooler discussion, or a prayer meeting.

Do you know how important it is for someone to have a solid rock friend in their life?

Not only is it important to be that solid rock, but it's also a must to let them know. If people haven't trusted you with something, they have no idea if you're a safe person. I want to inform as many people as I can that if they need to talk, I'll be there...and I'll keep our conversation close to the vest. And I want to hold to that promise. In this, I shall be called safe.

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On the other side of the coin I am relinquishing my desire to be a safe person. In the context of complacency and mediocrity and the status quo...no thanks. I don't want to be like everyone else. I don't want to wake up in the morning, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to sleep, wake up to do it all over again. Should my biggest desire in life be to just get through it all with a half-smile hoping to maybe own a boat? Bah.

This is a tough thing as well. Everything in me wants a motorcycle, tattoos, adventure, and danger of all sorts - but society reminds me that I have a responsibility to stay safe. I have a family to look after and apparently you are not able to do that unless you're planted firmly on the sofa with a remote in your hand. Growing up you think you'll be an adult when you turn 18 years old, only to learn that everyone considers you a "kid" until you turn 30. Well, this kid isn't going to do it the way it's been done before.

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Not me. I'm going after the prize and I'm not turning back. I'm going after radical authenticity to spread realness and transparency around me. I'm going after insane and unsafe grace towards those who don't seem to deserve it...because we've all blown it at some point and need a second chance. I'm going after a life that is unusually safe and ridiculously dangerous at the same time.

Who's with me?

25 waggish utterances thus far...:

Sonja Chandler said...

great post...
Over the past few months I have finally arrived at the point on my journey where I am no longer concerned about what others think. And I mean in terms of how they view me or would judge me. I am not as concerned about their thoughts of me but more interested in them as a human being and how I can try and relate to them. This shift has been profound. I am more authentic because of it. And uncertainity is more and more comfortable for me. I don't have to "know" what may happen or what will be said or not said. I just live in the moment. Not 20 minutes from now or 2 years form now. Just today this minute, cause "right now" is all we have.

Sonja C.
Nothing is more important than this day!
www.sonjachandler.typepad.com

Darth Mom said...

Wow! I just started going to VWS about 5 months ago. I've been a church-goer pretty much my whole life but I have never heard or even thought about the things you and Tim talk about every week. It's rocking my world and it's very scary and exciting at the same time!

Debbie said...

We are with you, Ryan!

jerseygirlabroad said...

I'm with ya! It's worth everything, isn't it?

Elaine said...

Love takes balls...I like it.

mike foster said...

sweet post...im totally with ya!...mike.

UNCHEWABLE said...

I once heard a guy say life is a endless list of compromises. although we have painted the word compromise it can be a positive word as well. every person has his/her dichotomy division of self. we need to balance how we effect others and how we effect ourselves. i used to grow wary of this constant shifting but GOD has changed my heart to realize it for what it is a adventurous journey that makes sure life wont get boring :)

DanThoms said...

Note to self: buy a new motorcycle.

Your not living life if your not taking risks. Go and do. Don't just exist.

Renee said...

I sooooo agree with you, it's very difficult when you tell your Christian friends something very personal only to learn they've told someone else. I have tried to get past the hurt and remember that God loves them as much as he loves me. This inspires me to be a "Safe person". Your blog is so great, you
seem like a very real person.
Kudos and I have always wanted a tattoo, but too afraid.

Brad Ruggles said...

Dude, I'm with you. Great post and great pictures to go along with it.

It was so awesome meeting and hanging with you in ATL. Looking forward to doing it again sometime.

Kimberly said...

D00d, try to keep up with me...!! I've been ahead of you for a while now... Maybe it's cuz... "you're a kid"? LOL just messin with ya.

You know I'm with you... You've seen pix of me, right! If not, see me here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/kimberly.a.edwards/BikersForChrist#5247194578012175618

I'm thumbs up!

Scott Fillmer said...

WHY am I fascinated by a photo of the inside of a car going through a car wash??? It is totally awesome, love it. I guess it's the fisheye :)

Not Too Old said...

I think this is one of your best posts/sermons. I'm with you! I'm all for being reckless with grace and love and for being REAL.

MooBeeMa said...

Whoa! Are you in the backseat of a car going through the car wash? Where's the driver!? That is so risky. Do you know what could happen!? Danger is lurking everywhere!

Love this post!

mommyknows said...

I'm in.

amy wright said...

I think that's great. I'm not very adventurous, but that's great. :) but what I really thought about as I read your blog and looked at your pictures is how calm your wife seems. She just looks like someone I would want to get to know...and I think that you are blessed. :)

Jen said...

Didn't the Lord say that he came for us to have life, and have it to the full? I think couch potatoes have got the wrong idea about the "full" part. Chips don't count, tasty as they are.

*grin* But then there's the whole "everything is permissable but not necesarily beneficial" thing.

Galatians 5:1 is another goody...

panykattack said...

I am so with you. God is shaking things up in my life right now and it's scary and uncomfortable and awesome.

.suz. said...

That is one awesome website. Second chances are worth it...I wish more knew that.

Jenny said...

Great post and SO true! I'm in.

First thing I noticed about the vehicle in the carwash pic was how the overhead lights or whatever they are look like a face on the roof of the vehicle. Cool Pic.

Kate said...

Have you read the Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning? He's up your alley if you haven't. It's the purest form of radical grace I have ever read. I needed that reassurance after being fired from my church job for telling them I had a drinking problem and needed some serious help/treatment.

Resentments aside, which are prayed about daily, being an alcoholic in recovery has afforded me that understanding of radical grace that makes me "unsafe" as a Christian. I scare people. I scare pastors when I share the idea that God gives us chance after chance after chance to come to his glory and who are we to judge His people? How dare we presume to know better than God who or who does not deserve his Grace?

I'm kind of a wackjob when it comes to grace and spreading the kind of news that makes people uncomfortable. I've found that if I'm comfortable in my faith, there's something wrong.

Fatt Daddy said...

I'm with you! I was already looking for a motorcycle :) I've gotten back into art after letting it go for years and it's an brought an amazing amount of joy into my life even with some of the rejection or lack of others acceptance.

Helen Ann said...

I'm IN!!!!!!!!!!!

Hannah said...

This post has had me thinking for a couple days now. Since becoming a mom I find that I am not nearly as daring- cliff jumping this summer I felt like the biggest wuss! So I have decided that the other side of my safe can be letting go- I can be that weird mom at the park that does cartwheels and screams and plays tag even though all the other moms are sitting and talking on their phones. I can openly be the madly in love wife who adores her husband instead of ragging on him when out with the girls. I feel like I have these desires but 'out there' they don't feel safe. This post has totally made me realize this, and how sad to live like that! So thank you!

P-Dubs said...

I'm with ya Ryan!! And I'm so glad we are doing this crazy exciting thing with you and Allison.