Relationship: n., 1. The state of being related by kindred, affinity, or other alliance (Webster’s dictionary definition)

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly we can bond with others. Anyone who has been to a camp or on a mission or ministry trip may have experienced this. When you share a special part of life together during a concentrated period of time, it forms strong ties to those on the journey with you. Those bonds may be only for a season, but some are for life! You can spend only a week or so with some people and feel more connected with them than with those you have spent years with.

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same."

"Life is relationships; the rest is just details." - Gary Smalley

 From the time we are born life is about relationship with others…bonding between parent and child starts immediately after birth, a process that continues as a child grows. Then begins bonding with others…grandparents, siblings, friends, teachers, etc… The whole purpose of Christ dying for our sins is so that a holy, eternal God can have relationship with a sinful human us! We are built for relationship from the beginning to the end of our lives…for eternity!

 "This is the kind of love we are talking about – not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God."– 1 John 4:10 (The Message Bible)

When we were preparing to leave for Ghana, so many people told me to have a fun, but "safe" trip. That seems to be a common thing that others say when someone is going anywhere further away. The more I think about it the more I am sure that I am not called to be "safe".

There are no guarantees to life...we are not promised that we will wake up tomorrow morning or arrive home safely from a trip to the grocery. If I died today, the last thing I would want someone to say about me at my funeral is that I played it "safe"!! I want to go where Jesus leads...and I am SURE of the fact that at times it will not be what I would consider safe.

C.S. Lewis’ children’s book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, tells of the adventures of four children in the magical kingdom of Narnia. Jesus is represented by the lion Aslan. When in Narnia, the children meet Mr and Mrs Beaver, who describe the mighty lion to them.

"Is he a man?" asked Lucy.

"Aslan a man!" said Mr Beaver sternly. Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great emperor-beyond- the-sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great lion."

"Ooh!" said Susan, "I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and no mistake" said Mrs Beaver; "if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly."

"Then he isn’t safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr Beaver; "don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you."

The disciples did not live safe lives…in Acts 4:1-4 it says:

"The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand."

Jesus' life was NOT safe...and if we choose to follow Him, I don't believe His desire is for us to live "safe" lives either. His desire for us is that we would follow His example, listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading & trust Him, no matter where that leads us…even if it’s not safe!