Yesterday, I had a usually attentive student in the front of the class who seemed distracted. When I questioned if there was something the matter, she responded that it was the plug outlet on my wall that concerned her. In the UK, plug points or mains terminals have their own separate on/off switches, allowing for the electricity to be shut off not only to any appliance connected to it, but to the point itself. Mine was an empty socket with a “live” current. Dangerous? No, unless you plan on sticking a paperclip into it, but an over-engineered safety feature.
We have become risk adverse to the extreme. We don’t sleep in the open under a blanket, as a tent will protect us from the elements. We don’t sleep in a tent, as a cabin will protect us from bears. We don’t sleep in cabins, as modern homes will protect us from discomfort.
We are constantly looking for security, and a sense of certainty in an uncertain world. But is this a fool’s errand? Can we really ever make “ourselves” safe?
The Islamic call to prayer, the Adhan, is telling in this. In the centre of the address are two key lines: “Come to prayer,” “Come to security.” I find this a really empowering concept. We cannot on our own control every aspect of our lives. But there is One who can.
While the Adhan is not Christian, this aspect of it is true to the teachings of the Bible. God is Jehovah Jireh – “The Lord Will Provide.” Matthew 6:26, tells us,“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they?” Matthew continues, Jesus’ words in MT 7:7-8, “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
We may not live in a world devoid of dangers, but rather than having multilayered, secondary, breakers and switches, let us hand it over to God.