May 12, 2020 - Risks

When I woke up this morning I felt the urge and need to share a few words on risks and the dangers of taking risks. All of us at one time or another have taken risks. A good example of taking risk is with the stock market and at this particular time investors are losing big time.  Yes, there are instances when we can declare that the risk was worth the attempt because of the positive outcomes. On the flip side, there are stories of risks being taken and the outcomes are devastating and life threatening. The reason I bring this message to your attention today is because we are being asked by the government to take some of the greatest risks we could ever attempt. May I remind us today that we are in the midst of a pandemic where more than 80k people have died in the United States. If this message causes one person to rethink and reset his/her priorities and it saves a life, it is worth the time in writing it.  

One of my friends recently spoke profoundly, as she normally does when someone is not thinking rationally. She often says, "God put approximately three pounds of grey matter between our ears (brain) and He expects us to use it. We need to discern what is safe and what is unsafe. God gave it to us, so why not use it." Her point to me as recent as yesterday, May 11, 2020 was that just because some states are prematurely easing the restrictions on opening businesses, we must use our own wisdom in making sound individual decisions.

Remember brothers and sisters, the risks you take in some of these instances could lead to suffering and even death.

Please do not take my word only for it, for in times like these we must rely heavily on God to provide guidance and strength. I know someone is probably asking the question, "Where is your faith?" True, Proverbs 3:5 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." In taking risks, I am to put my faith in God first; however we must remember that God suggests we use prudence and wisdom in taking risks. Blind faith can be detrimental and uncalled for. Proverbs 11:14 tells us, "For lack of guidance a nation fails, but victory is won through many advisers."   

Because we know what the risks are, death and suffering, we should avoid the temptation of opening businesses too soon at all cost. The public is being told that the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus in the United States is decreasing significantly, when in reality the numbers are spiking. We are being informed that testing is better than that of any other nation, but that is a fallacy. My point today is that we place ourselves in extreme danger of needless suffering or death if we do not use our own good judgement. We are even taking a risk if we believe everything that comes out of the White House. 

Scientists and experts are warning us against opening businesses too soon. Let's not give in and bow down to political pressures brought on by people in power. We are constantly being told by doctors and scientists that the country is moving too fast in its attempt to re-open. We are far from being in a position to go back to our normal way of living. I admonish everyone to reconsider going out to public places as if there are no dangers. If you are not concerned about your own life or well-being, please think about the position and predicament we place on those serving on the frontlines. Those on the frontlines are already under extreme pressure dealing with the high number of infected cases. Doctors and nurses are sacrificing and giving their lives to the cause, so why can't we be patient a little longer. We are to be reminded that the virus has the upper hand.

If we were to go back to one of those very familiar scriptures, Matthew 14:29, our impetuous friend, Peter the disciple sees Jesus walking on water. Jesus calls out to Peter to do the same, but Peter is overcome by the risk and sinks.

Again, we know there are many risks that are taken and there are success stories to follow. May I remind everyone today, however, that we are dealing with a virus that is unknown and we know so little about! We must find alternatives to our usual comfortable lifestyles. I suggested to a friend the other day that rather than going to the barber shop, he cut his own hair and he did just that. I suggested to a female friend to wash and do her own hair and she did just that.

Lastly, please continue to wear your masks, gloves and practice social distancing. It breaks my heart seeing people in public places callous and carefree as if nothing is dangerous about their behavior. Now is not the time to take risks as it relates to covid-19.

Not a sermon, just a thought!

Robert Earl Slade, Pastor