Saturday, January 19, 2013

Is It Safe?

Is it safe? I think that is a question we as adults spend a lot of our time asking or wondering. We tend to let our concern for safety regulate our actions. This can be a good thing, but it can also be a negative thing. Concern for safety can be an anchor that keeps us tied to existance. What I mean to say is that fear can keep us from living and enjoying life. 

Have you ever noticed how children can be pretty fearless? They often explore their world with reckless abadon; while at the same time, their hearts are filled with joy. Why? Because they are experiencing life. For children, life is an adventure. Don't you remember all the crazy, fun adventures you had as a child? Do you remember climbing up on the wood pile with an umbrella so you could jump off and float down? Do you remember the time you built a ramp and jumped it with your BMX bike - without a helmet?! Do you remember swinging as high as you could in a swingset and then jumping out of the swing? What about the time you jumped off the high dive and did a belly flop in the pool - once! Oh yeah, all those were things that I did. But you know when you were younger you did some crazy, fun, adventurous things. 

When we were younger, we knew no fear.  We were alive!

So what happened? Many times now, and maybe I'm alone in this, the concern for safety often puts the brakes on desires. My sense of adventure gets dampened by my thoughts of "is this safe?, will this hurt?, what if I fall?" Now I know that we are much bigger and heavier than we were when we were children. And, gravity can be a harsh mistress should we ever fall out of a tree, so some thoughts of concern may be worth entertaining. But let's be honest, we are simply not as adventurous as we used to be. We let silly little fears stop us from enjoying even the smallest of adventures. 

Part of what makes a child's body so resilient is their resilient attitude. They take chances. They let things like falling become part of the adventure to be had instead of the reason not to have the adventure. There was a time when rain meant chaotic fun, remember? Now for most of us rain means, "But I'll get wet." I don't know what your fears are, or what your mental brakes are that keep you from living out adventures, but I am sure that you probably have a few. Whether it is, "I don't want to pull a groin.", or "I might catch a cold." , there are things that keep you inside, on your couch, watching the world go by instead of outside making the world spin faster. 

I believe we were all made to be bulletproof, to be resilient, in a total sense: physically, mentally, and spiritually. We were meant to live and engage in life. We used to be so good at doing this when we were younger. We had no fear. Thoughts of fear, or dread, keep us from fully experiencing life. They keep us from becoming mentally resilient. And, they keep us tied down to existence - taking up space. Maybe we should throw caution to the wind every once in a while and strive to be alive. Maybe we should purposefully set out to do things that make us a little nervous. Maybe we should seek out adventure like we once did when we were younger. 

Instead of asking, "Is it safe?" most of the time, what would life look like if we said, "Hey, watch this!" every now and then? What is the point to this whole post? Make your life an adventure. Go mountain biking. Go hiking. Climb a tree. Learn to skateboard - wear a helmet! ;) Do something exhilerating. Live a little! It might just make you feel like you are bulletproof...

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