Safety First?

By Joel Hess


A couple of weeks ago I was taking some kids to a church event. One of them sat in the passenger seat and continued to nag me about whether the airbag was on or not and how he probably shouldn’t be sitting in the front seat. Finally I said sternly, ‘Kid, you are going to die one day, no matter what, and it’s going to hurt.” Yeah, I know, I’m a great pastor.

Every day we read or listen to a new warning about food, drugs, toys, or whatever. Recently Trek bikes had to recall a vast number of their bikes because a few people were hurt on them. Nothing is truly safe! I would advise staying home, but that isn’t safe either. Standing still is just as potentially unsafe as moving.

Our kids chuckle at our stories of traveling from Cadillac to Traverse City in the back of a pick up, or when we visited the pastor in his office and he was smoking! Yes! Inside his office. Pastor Draper, I think they called him.

Unfortunately, even though we laugh at ourselves and our obsession with safety, I would suggest that we truly hold safety as the number one goal in life. It has become our morality! We don’t care what people do, just be safe! We apply this to everything including sex. We think we are being moral when we preach “safe sex”! The left actually promotes “safe” abortions!


When it comes to our kids, we just want them to be safe, right? I don’t mean just physically safe either. We want them to get good grades so they can go to a good college and get a good job – and be safe. Being safe has become our God! Look at the choices you make in life for your kids. Most Christian parents spend far more time, money, and attention on making sure their kid safely reaches 83 years of age, than reaching the New Jerusalem. Look how much we spend on health care! Stop obsessing about good health care! None of it is really that good. It all will fail you.

Some people send their kids to youth groups just because they know they will be safe there. Haha, that’s it! Safety.

We live our life under the mantra, YOLO: you only live once. You only live once so make the most of it and live as long as you can. This is it! How many times do you see cute memes about making the most of today? “Yesterday is history, tomorrow’s a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.” Gag.

Our peace and our joy seems founded on how “safe” we are, how long we can live, and how high our “quality” of life is.


Guess what?  I don’t care how safe you make your life or life for your kids.  This world is not safe!

It doesn’t matter what you do to protect your loved ones, or how good your health insurance is, or how great your job is. None of it is for certain! None of it is safe! You can’t keep yourself safe and you cannot guarantee the safety of your kids, no matter how many wall outlets you baby-proof!

I’m all for being safe. I hate death. I want my kids to have good and healthy lives. But sometimes I wonder if I care more about that than their life in Christ. I care about what school they go to or what great career they choose more than whether they love God and love their neighbor as themselves.


Our sense of security, peace, and joy should not be founded on anything but Jesus Christ! In Him alone are we truly safe! Safe from the consequence of our sins. Safe from death itself. He is risen! We will rise too! We will live forever! You don’t need to desperately make the most of this life, or live as long as you can.

Tomorrow is not a mystery at all! It is finished!