Today I’m doing something that I’m really not comfortable with. I’m speaking briefly to a group of about 25 or so folks about taking steps to battle racial prejudice. Doing any sort of speaking outside the pulpit can be quite scary for a pastor.
After all, they’ve not come into my world (church); I’ve come into their world. Its kind of like when people get into the water with sharks. They always say, “We’re in their world now.” Of course those nestling within the confines of a cozy cage, have nothing to worry about (that’s why I refuse to watch the “Shark Week” episodes when they’re in cages-their not risking anything), but when they step out of the cage-that’s when they really risk their lives.
My partner (a fellow black pastor) was kind of my cage. He’s not going to make it now, so I’m cageless; I’ve got nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide-or something like that.
Back to the sharks. Despite the initial fear, and perhaps fear throughout their dives, they always seem to come up excited. Even overwhelmed at the opportunity they just had.
Yet I don’t think that only happens while free diving with Great White Sharks. I think it happens any time we truly step out in faith. Along with fear comes great excitement. But that fear often proves too great a hurdle, and we settle for a safe and boring spirituality. However, interestingly enough, neither words are used to describe the Christian life in the bible. I’ve looked.