Last weekend I had the privilege of sharing with Dayspring Ministries for their church anniversary. I talked about desperation and heroes. Seems a bit strange to talk about desperation at a celebration, but God is drawn to hopeful desperation. In his most famous sermon, Jesus first statement was, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit for their is the Kingdom of God” Or we could use the words, “Blessed are the broken… blessed are those who have come to the end of their rope and have no where to turn, but turn to God… the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.. all the resources of God are within their grasp.
You understand it’s not desperation all by itself…desperation without hope leads to death. Desperation with hope leads to initiative. It’s like one of my favorite heroes…from the movie Dumb and Dumber… I can’t remember if it was dumb or dumber but Jim Carey is chasing this girl who has no time for him, and he finally corners her and asks her if there is any possibility that she might ever have feelings for him. She says, “It’s about a million to one.” He says, “So you’re telling me I’ve got a chance!”
That’s hopeful desperation and in the Kingdom of God, hopeful desperation gives birth to heroes.
Let me ask you a question that Jon Ortberg asks in one of his books, “What do you think is the most dangerous object in your home?”
Larry Lowden is a professor of philosophy at the University of Hawaii and he’s written a whole chapter on household dangers. 460,000 people a year are injured by kitchen knives. Manual and power saws get another 100,000. And this is a statement, a quote directly from the book. Lowden writes, “Annually, some 4,000 of us seriously injure ourselves on pillows.” How do you do that? A really rough pillow fight? Poke your eye out with a feather while you’re dreaming?
But that’s not the most dangerous item in the house for a hero. I think the most dangerous object in your house is a chair, a special chair, an easy chair. Easy chairs are kryptonite for heroes, because it is the antithesis to hopeful desperation. The easy chair is all about comfort. It’s a laz-y-boy chair, not a “go-be-a-hero chair.” We sit in our lazy-boy chairs we snack on some comfort food. Got the remote control nearby so we don’t have to exert ourselves in a dangerous way…as we watch the game.
See if my life is primarily devoted to maximizing my comfort — minimizing my stress — and hiding from my problems, I won’t take the risk of hopeful desperation when the opportunity arises. The danger is not what I do while I’m in my comfort zone. It’s what I miss.
John Ortberg writes,
It’s the relationships we never take a chance on.
It’s the people we never serve.
It’s the great urgent, desperate prayers we never pray.
It’s the noble thoughts we never think.
It’s the battles you were called to fight, that you never fight.
It’s the laughter you never laugh and the tears you never weep.
It’s the great adventure of life with God that you were made for that you never go on. You were made to do something more with your life than to try to arrange it to maximize comfort, security and safety. You were made to spend your life in a risky partnership with God.