He seemed legitimately worried about me. He kept saying things like "Be sure to take care of yourself. I don't want to see any headlines." "Don't drink the water." "Stay safe." Now this is a guy I have met maybe one other time in my whole life. I most likely will never see him again. And yet, he was worried about my safety.
We've been surrounded by a host of supportive people. Friends and family have come around us excited to see what God is going to do in (and hopefully through) our lives. I don't usually have to think or defend my decision to move abroad. The thought of my safety doesn't occur to me often so this particular evening got me reflecting about another "eventually." You know, the one you don't want to think about.
Eventually, I'm going to die.
Morbid, right? But it's true. Nothing is going to change this fact. What is there that I do about it?
"And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life's span?" (Luke 12:25 NASB)
Now, don't get me wrong. I worry about my safety and my family's safety all the time. I try to keep my kids from engaging in reckless behavior, but I also know that there is ultimately nothing I can do to change my (or my family's) numbered days.
What I can change is what I'm going to do until this "eventually." I can choose to live in worry and crippling fear and dwell on the things that "could" happen. Or.... I can choose to live into the life that I have right now.
I know which one sounds more appealing to me.
I am not going to be any safer if I stayed in the States. You may have heard the familiar maxim, "The safest place to be is in the will of God." It's true. In fact, it's well documented that the odds of dying in a car accident is much greater than dying from a terrorist attack. Is that going to stop me from getting in my car next time I need to go somewhere? Not at all! I probably won't even think about that risk that I'm putting myself through on a daily basis.
Just as I can't allow myself to be paralyzed by fear each time I get into the driver's seat, I can't allow myself to be haunted by some unknown "terror" that may somehow be worse in a third-world country.
Corrie Ten Boom is credited with saying,
“There are no 'if's' in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety - let us pray that we may always know it!”I pray that I can have the courage and confidence of this godly woman. I may die tomorrow. So what? "So what" am I going to do with today?