When I was a Special Needs teacher, we used the minibus a lot for educational visits. Oh, but the risk assessments were a nightmare! What if the bus crashes? What if a child gets lost? What if it rains? What if someone is ill? What if…? It made you wonder why you’d thought of going on the visit! Wasn’t it just too risky?
Many of us, me included, tend to live life like that. We don’t attempt stuff because the risks are too great. Of course, it’s right that we try to stay safe, but sometimes it’s at the cost of barely living at all. When our own personal risk assessments go into overdrive, life gets very limited. We can also use risk as an excuse for not doing things we don’t fancy, can’t be bothered with, or are afraid of.
That’s how it was with Moses, Exodus 4:1-17, “What if they do not believe me?” This was not a job he’d applied for, and he could think of a million and one reasons for not doing it. But this was God’s chosen man. God had a million and two ways of defeating his every argument, to persuade him to take up the challenge. Finally, when Moses asked him to send somebody else, God lost his cool and “the Lord’s anger burned against Moses.” Suddenly the risk involved in not obeying God rose high against any problems Moses might encounter on the pathway of obedience. Was God simply bullying him into submission? God knew what was at stake for the Hebrew people, but also what Moses would lose out on. So first the stick, and then the carrot: his brother was longing to meet him, and would help him and honour him; and of course, God would be helping them both.
Moses did not have an easy time on the path of obedience, but he didn’t end his days as a bored shepherd working for his father-in-law either! God’s best plans for us might look risky, but they are never boring. When life gets dull, maybe its because we’ve failed to take up a challenge from God. Ask him to show you: I dare you! Whatever the risks, he’ll be with you. Doesn’t that make it worth a go?