I’m afraid of very few things in this world; but, the one thing that I seem to fear above all else is becoming the person who God is calling me to be. I fear this so much because I have no idea what God will call me to do next. Becoming this person isn’t safe, it’s dangerous, and it scares me. St. Ignatius of Loyola once said “Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.” I think St. Ignatius only got that half right. I think that there are many souls who do understand what God would accomplish in them if they abandoned themselves fully to the Lord. However, I think these many souls who understand are just too afraid to let God mold them accordingly.
Can you really blame them? These souls have good reason to be afraid. The one we claims to love above all else was murdered on a cross because he abandoned Himself fully to His Father’s will. Apostles, saints, and martyrs throughout the ages have abandoned themselves to the Lord and died the most gruesome of deaths. Being crucified upside-down, getting their heads chopped off, and being burned at the stake doesn’t sound safe to me. Walking into countries to do God’s will when you could get shot for being there doesn’t sound safe. Caring for the sick and dying when their illnesses could infect and kill you doesn’t sound too safe either.
I think what it comes down to is that being a Christian isn’t safe. It’s dangerous, it’s challenging, and it’s rough. Giving everything to God and letting Him mold you according to his plan is scary. I could very well end up poor, with no money, wondering the earth preaching the good news like the early apostles. I could get shot for going into foreign countries and helping people. While doing these things could ruin my life and kill me, they can also lead me to living the greatest life I’ll ever know.
Do you think the saints and martyrs played it safe? What about the apostles? Do you think they just sat on the sidelines and ignored God’s call because they were afraid? Of course not! They stepped up to the plate and recklessly abandoned themselves to God and allowed Him to mold and shape them accordingly, regardless of the fact that they were afraid. They left their fear aside and trusted in God to protect them and give them courage. They found their strength in the Lord, in who He was, in who He is, and in His word. They found their strength in the Lord and used it to get over their fears.
If the saints and the martyrs can throw aside their fear and abandon themselves fully to the Lord, why can’t I? I’ve become so comfortable with my Christian lifestyle that I’ve allowed fear to stop me from becoming the person that God is making me. I’ve become so comfortable with God that I’ve forgotten who He really is. Jesus is a revolutionary radical who turned the world upside-down and was nailed to a cross. That’s the Jesus I love, and that’s the Jesus that scares me to death. There are many other lifestyles that I could pick that won’t get me shot, mocked, put in jail, or killed. There are many other safe lifestyles out there that I could choose. I’m just not so sure anymore that living a safe life is all that it’s cracked up to be.