Saturday, 30 January 2010

What kind of culture do you live in?

Recently many sporting events were cancelled because of the icy conditions including a match scheduled at the home of football, the Emirates Stadium. I was intrigued by comments made by the Arsenal FC boss Arsene Wenger. He complained about a perceived "risk-averse" culture with clubs, police, local authorities too concerned by the prospect of litigation. He said, "Nobody accepts anymore that the slightest insecurity could exist in our society and that is why the games are postponed when there is no real need for it."
Insightful as is so often the case, Wenger highlights something important that is taking an increasing hold on us as a society.... fear. A risk-averse culture is a fear-filled one - we don't like insecurity, we don't like to feel de-stablised in any way, we will seek after comfort and control of our own circumstances at all costs and of course fail miserably. The earthquake in Haiti causes us to think, the rash of apocalyptic movies and TV series speak of the lack of control and the growing insecurity over our future and yet we carry on in what the final recording of Delirious called the 'Kingdom of Comfort'. Yet we honour and value another kingdom... one that is not risk averse, that calls us to risk all and to not try to save our own lives but rather to lose them.
There is a heightened sense of risk in what we are seeking to do.... become communities of disciples who don't expect others to come to us but rather emphasise going to others. We are laying down the safety of what we know for a far greater prize; that others would come to know Jesus as we know him.... the one in whom we find ultimate security for our lives because he will "never leave us or forsake us". This is the kind of culture we must seek to live in... not a risk-averse culture but a risk-full culture.... so we can say... like Peter said to Jesus "we have left everything to follow you" and hear Jesus' challenging words of reassurance in return:
"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first." 

1 comment:

Steve McGanity said...

Wenger for Prime Minister!