Momentum - Risk... Becoming Visible
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister, Covenant Community Church on Jan 27, 2003, 20:48
In the study called Becoming Visible I shared that "the invisible must become visible so the invisible can be visible". Just a Jonathan and his armor bearer were "seen by the Philistines" there is a moment where we all must risk being faithful and be seen as a God follower. For more on this listen or watch the study from this past week.
I also quoted a US News and World Report study. In that study a number of heroes who were willing to risk to change the lives of others were mentioned. In a day and age that is looking for heroes...their stories inspire me...
First meet the Road warrior: David Zorn, age 43, from Atlanta
In November 1999, Zorn apprehended a suspected drunken driver who was fleeing a brawl with a police officer. Spying the flashing lights and fighting on a Georgia interstate, Zorn stopped his truck. With the officer on the ground from a blow to the groin, Zorn chased the fleeing offender and caught him. The man begged the burly trucker not to hurt him. Zorn ordered him to the ground and pinned him. The officer handcuffed him.
What were you thinking?
A trucker for nearly 12 years, Zorn swore if he ever saw a policeman in trouble on the road, he'd pitch in.
Spending most days on the road, Zorn says the experience made him feel reconnected to society. "I'm glad I could do my civic duty and would do it again."
Next..here is one featured in an article called Digging out: Kenneth Rutland, age 38, North Vancouver, B.C.
Dug out two critically injured, half-frozen hikers from a Grouse Mountain avalanche in January 1999. Rutland freed them and gave them dry clothes he was carrying. When another avalanche dragged Rutland and the hikers farther down the mountain, he again pulled them out.
What gave you courage?
"Knowing the fears these guys had gave me a lot of courage. [And] it became a little bit personal-I didn't want to lose these guys."
In the aftermath Rutland joined a search-and-rescue team. "I certainly don't take things for granted anymore. The most beautiful day could also be the most hazardous day."
Here is the moving story of Linda Robb, age 52, Berlin Center, Ohio
Disarmed a 13-year-old student who was wielding a loaded 9-mm semiautomatic handgun in a classroom full of terrified students. "The first thing I said was 'I love you, and I care about you.' " Then he "came to the doorway, I hugged him, and I said, 'Give me the gun.' And he did."
What were you thinking?
"Those kids were absolutely terrified. I was taught to put others first, and I tried to put them first. I was thinking he could kill me, he could just kill me. But I had no Plan B, so it had to work."
Robb has corresponded with the troubled student. He wrote that he thinks of her as his grandma. "I love that," she says. Robb, who teaches ancient history to sixth graders, received a heroism award from the Carnegie Foundation. She used the money to visit the places she teaches about, collecting costumes and other classroom tools. She has also traveled as a speaker for the Preventing School Violence program.
Here is a tale of risk called Into the river: Lenny Skutnik, age 47, Lorton, Va.
Rescued a passenger from the Potomac River after the Air Florida crash in a 1982 blizzard, pulling off his coat and boots and diving in. Dodging chunks of ice and airplane debris, the government worker hauled a 23-year-old woman toward shore. A fireman waded into the river to complete the rescue.
What gave you courage?
"I believe it's human instinct. I knew she wasn't going to make it, so I dove in."
Awards and congratulations-including recognition in President Reagan's 1982 State of the Union address-and a chance to meet other do-gooders followed. "The world's full of people who help other people. Heroes are everywhere." (They are really out there...you just have to learn where to look)
Bright yellow tape bearing mina ("mine") warnings encircles the Orthodox Christian graveyard just outside Sarajevo, where six men hunker on their hands and knees, prodding the ground for buried explosives. Formerly a front line in Bosnia and Herzegovina's war, the cemetery-across from a zoo, next to a backyard garden-is a likely repository for at least a few of the estimated 1 million landmines dotting the Bosnian landscape. Visitors to the graveyard sign in with their name and blood type. One de-miner, wearing the requisite helmet and explosive-resistant vest, has taped his blood type, O+, to his helmet; five years ago the spot boasted a general's star. Many of the country's 1,500 de-miners were soldiers; the best de-miners, according to industry wisdom, are former miners.
But the job requires the opposite of a soldier's fearlessness. "Being aware how dangerous this is is how we survive," says team leader Admir Tufekcic, 30. "Only a crazy person never fears." The work is so intense they must take 15-minute breaks every half-hour. Meter by meter, they feel for tripwires and prod for buried bombs. A good day might mean clearing 40 meters. A bad day might be their last. Of 346 mine deaths in Bosnia since 1996, 34 have been of professional de-miners. No one makes them do this-many consider it their national responsibility. Being heroes is their job.
Indeed there are people who are willing to risk to save the lives of others every single day. The question is...are you willing to risk living life to the max for Jesus? In doing so you begin to discover spirtual momentum that you may have never experienced. You also will begin to impact the lives of others in ways that you have never had the chance to do before.
Risk....it really is a part of who we are called to be.
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