There is a verse in the Old Testament that has inspired many commentaries throughout the years:
“There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way that leads to death”. (Proverbs 14:12, NET)
For the past few years you might have recognized a media push of “Be safe”. The messages that have been streamed to us through the COVID hoax was “Be safe!”. The implication then was that you needed to do something or change the way you thought to be “safe”. Even more insidious is the emphasis I see on marquees of public schools towards elementary through high school age children: “Have a safe summer!”. But suppose we break down that thought into its constituent implications…
Jesus said in Matthew 16:25:
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (NET).
That doesn’t sound so “safe” to me, especially knowing that Jesus and later his disciples said quite a bit about the role of suffering in regards to the Christian walk. “Safe” is not the ideal that weaves it’s way through the writings of Christianity, let alone just about any religion that recognizes the nature of evil and the conflict it has with what is good and praiseworthy.
One of the attributes of my occupation as an engineer is to evaluate risk. Those who design things know that there are limits to the materials that are used to make a product, via the forces that act on them. There is risk when something is manufactured to produce a result, and those risks must be mitigated to make the product “safe”. There are ample warnings on product labels that indicate those risks that exceed the products ability to be operated safely in words such as “Do not …”, “...warranty is nullified if…”, etc.
When we apply this idea of “being safe” to humans, what is the risk that is being mitigated? Is there an implication, or perhaps an agenda associated with that risk? Some might say it is simply a veiled message to not do something foolish, such as abuse drugs, commit crimes or stay away from trouble. Those are words that past generations spoke freely, clearly and concisely to their children. They implied a set of values that were meant to preserve their children from harm and pass on shared values meant to preserve and protect life.
So why the obfuscation of “be safe”? A deeper evaluation may indicate it is linked to a message that pervades our society and was exposed during the COVID lock downs. “Be safe” has implicitly become conformity to an arbitrary standard set forth by authoritarian elites in the media and government. Then it meant “wear a mask”, even though the evidence was that wearing a mask could degrade a person’s health by keeping exhaled particulates that the body was trying to be rid of close to the wearer’s mouth. Then it meant taking a mRNA shot even though it had not been fully tested as a vaccine, and it did not fit the definition of a vaccine. The definition of vaccine was changed by the AMA and CDC to accommodate and hide this fact. But that information was suppressed by media and the government organizations that knew better, but chose to deny that information to the public. “Be safe” became a mantra for conforming to policies, ideas and even worldviews that were antithetical to reality. There were some medical professionals who did speak out against the pretense, but were quickly maligned by media and government lackeys. Christ followers have experienced this persecution throughout the ages as they speak truth to a culture that is gained through their relationship with Jesus Christ.
It seems right to think that the “Be safe” mantra is innocuous and a thoughtful thing to say, but peeking behind the veil of the words like Toto did with the Great Oz can lead one to see the fallacy and dangers of blindly accepting this banality. I think I will pass on wishing anyone a “safe” day in lieu of wishing friends and acquaintances alike to have a day filled with adventure, joy, opportunity and a growing sense of the price that was paid for our lives by our Redeemer that did not take the "safe" path in life.
Great thoughts Lorin! Reminds me of John 21:18 where Jesus tells Peter he will lose control of his goings about towards the end of his life. That kind of fear is powerful, but can be overcome by a better understanding of the reality of God's provision, plan and love.
7 months ago - Lorin. S. - CAReply
Interesting. The different meanings that folks have for safety amounts to something akin to “risk management” in business. There are some who, because of the fear-mongering of COVID, worked from home, got groceries delivered, severed all in person contacts, and took all prescribed precautionary measures to a ridiculous degree (wearing a mask in the open outdoors, in a personal car shared with no one else). We have the risk of a meteorite, crashing plane, or natural disaster hitting our home. There is the risk of an accident during any car ride, or of an errant car crashing into us as we walk on the safe sidewalk. But we still drive as we see fit, walk, and carry on knowing that, although very unlikely, something adverse (or unexpected) may happen. It seems odd that some fear travel by plane or train due to possible calamity as opposed to car travel, which has a statistically way higher chance of injury. Seems like loss of control is a component of the fear.