Confession: I snicker every time I see somebody post "Be careful!" under a status update on Facebook. The "Be careful!" people are everywhere. For example:
Getting ready to run my first marathon today!
Excited about spending the day in New York City!
At the airport waiting for the boarding call. Can't wait to see my kids in a few hours.
You get my point, right? I love the "Be careful!" people. Somebody's gotta warn others of potential danger. I find myself being the "Be careful!" mom at times. I'll admit I'm tempted to bubble-wrap my kids on occasion. I have a "Be careful!" daughter who likes to warn me of potential dangers. But, I've decided I don't want "Be careful!" to be my life's motto. I've found that most "Be careful!" people don't really live inspiring lives. There comes a point in time when we have to stop listening to the "Be careful!" people and move forward with living.
I've been reading Katie Davis' book, "Kisses from Katie". Katie is an adoptive mother of thirteen girls in Uganda. She writes, "I'm living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk, amid the things that can and do bring physical destruction, because I am running from things that can destroy my soul: complacency, comfort, and ignorance. I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self-serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy." Did I mention that Katie is 22? I don't think she listened to the "Be careful!" people much.
I was curious what the Bible has to say about being careful. My quick search told me that most of the "Be careful" comments in the Bible had to do with sin. Be careful how you think. Be careful what you say. Be careful not to turn to evil. Be careful not to let bribes deceive you. My favorite "Be careful!" verse is Ephesians 5:15-17, "So be careful how you live. Don't live like ignorant people, but like wise people. Make good use of every opportunity you have, because these are evil days. Don't be fools, then, but try to find out what the Lord wants you to do." I like the make good use of every opportunity part. I want to make good use of every opportunity in my life...not sit around in fear because I'm too cautious.
I'm currently reading a "Be careful!" book. It was assigned to us as part of our home study process and we need to read it before we adopt. It's called Risk and Promise and is written by four brilliant doctors. The premise of the book is to give adoptive parents the knowledge they need to navigate the health risks of children adopted from overseas. It's an overwhelming read. It almost asks the question, "Are you sure you want to adopt with all the potential health risks?" While I'm glad I'm arming myself with all this info, I have to agree 100% with my husband when he said, "The child is already born. What do we do about that?" It's true. Yes...this child may have a myriad of health issues that may plague him (or her) all his (or her) life. However, it's time to stop being careful and move forward with what we know is right...giving him (or her) the love and care we have to give.
Yes...I admit I'm naive to this whole adoption thing. I fully expect the unexpected. I think that's the way it should be. I don't know who said it (and I'm probably going to butcher it) but I heard somebody say that one of God's greatest gifts to us is not letting us know what the future holds. Because if we knew how difficult it would be to follow His will for our lives, we would probably reject His plan and run the opposite direction.
So...I'm listening to the "Be careful!" people with one ear and keeping both eyes on God...being careful to make good use of every opportunity thrown my way.