Playin’ it Safe

Read the title. We all play “it” safe. There are a number of things “it” could mean. It could be something big like buying a house or a car. Or even something as simple as choosing a sno cone flavor. Eh em. Story time!

So a while back after I had gotten my braces checked on (A+ brushing– nothing to brag about…) and the lady at the desk had given my mom and I the A-OK to get out of there, I decided to get a sno-cone that they were giving out for free on the patio. And boy, let me tell you first-hand how HARD it is to choose from the very large variety of pure-sugar syrups that they had. I mean, how is a kid supposed to choose what kind of sugar they want on shredded ice? Anyway, I decided to get watermelon flavored because, of course, I had tried and thoroughly enjoyed that flavor before. And then, as soon as I had received my flower-shaped-frozen-syrupy-goodness, came that feeling that I had missed out on something bigger. I knew I should have tried that sour green apple, or that berry berry blast. But it was too late. I had played it safe and I had lost what seemed like my only chance at trying any of those exotic flavors.

But that’s how I feel like my whole life is centered around- playin’ it safe. There was this one restaurant in Arizona called Genghis Grill. It was this Asian stir fry type restaurant where you pick what noodles, meat, and veggies you want and the chefs cook what you chose on this massive, too-big-to-be-true grill to delicious perfection. But I’m not known to be an adventurous eater, so I always put together a bowl of chicken, regular noodles, some broccoli to keep the balance, a few other common veggies, and (maybe) some shrimp. I’d obviously add some barbecue sauce– not any strange sauce I’d never heard of. That could ruin the whole meal! And if I was feeling super adventurous, I’d add on the side where I could easily pick it out, some weird fruit that someone recommended to me one time. And that was it. I had tons and tons of choices to choose from yet I chose the most simple things. Anything I hadn’t seen, heard of, or tasted was completely off limits.

That’s pretty much where I was at in my life. Every Tuesday night at TNL (a fun weekly group that the middle school program at my church does) during small groups, I would answer the questions correctly. I’d say the right things and be done. Whatever was on my heart could wait. The other girls would judge me, or I’d be embarrassed by what I said. It’s almost as if they didn’t deserve to hear my problems. And anyways, I could solve those problem, right? Who needs others? Who needs God? I mean, he’s nice when I’m in a crisis, but right now, I think I can handle this by myself. In my mind, having God be the center of my life and helping me through and through wasn’t playing it safe and the only thing I wanted to do was play it safe.

And I can’t emphasize how wrong that is. My brothers went on a trip to Tacoma, Washington to a program called SOMA Immerse. They pretty much learned how to keep that “camp high” that you get after going to a church camp going for the rest of your life. (Here is the link to the amazing 18 minute video that summed up the whole camp: ) And the next Sunday after they had gotten back, they got to share what they had learned with the middle school group and any high schooler who didn’t get the chance to go. I learned so much about how the church is my family, and how I need to and should want to share with my friends at church and the leaders about how I’m doing. The high schoolers also taught us that we need to be servants 24/7. That it isn’t an option to serve others, and communities, etc. The last “identity” was being missional and that really showed me that I can’t play it safe anymore. They challenged me to think about Jesus being in the center of my life. Because if he is, then that’s what I should be talking about.

Though I’m still a mess, I learned SO much from my the high school camp and I can’t wait to grow in my relationship with God and others.

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