One of the greetings or “goodbyes” that is popular now is “be safe”. My response is usually “safe is boring”. What we ought to say as a challenge to each other is “take a risk”. We all have a hard wired desire for comfort, and in our thinking the absence of problems and trials equals comfort so we avoid situations that seem to have high odds for problems or trials. Character, the character of Christ is our goal for living life, we want to become as much like Him as is possible with the days we have left to live. Character is not developed in us by being safe, character is not formed in us by choosing easy. Some things are incredibly hard to do, if we choose to do it anyway we will grow rapidly in character. I am going sky diving tomorrow and I am expecting it to be a great adrenaline rush. This is my 4th jump. I remember my first jump, and how scared I was. I kept thinking of ways to back out graciously without appearing to all those who knew to be a major chicken. I went because I kept reminding myself of this principle, and in my self talk my motto for days ahead of the jump almost continually in my head was, “the harder it is the better it is because it makes me grow”. Probably the hardest thing in all of life for me to do is go visit someone in the hospital, because I usually faint or come close to it, and the whole hospital experience seems to create this immense psycological war in my head. But because taking the easy way produces no growth, and I want to grow very rapidly in the remaining years of my life I made a goal to go visit someone in the hospital 6 times this year, once every two months. I am a little behind in the goal so I am looking for opportunities to get caught up. Every morning I say to Jesus, “Today I will do whatever You want me to do no matter how hard it is”.