I must confess a new obsession: I am addicted to running searches on the cosmetic safety database. For those of you who haven't heard of it, the website is run by a nonprofit corporation that rates cosmetics from 0 to 10 (with zero being best) according to how safe they are to use. The website allows visitors to run searches to see how safe their hand soap, sunscreen, deodorant, shampoo, body wash, make-up, etc. are. The website's counter keeps track of how many searches it has performed and was showing over 44 million when I last visited, and I attributed a great deal of those searches to me. I possess this insatiable need to know what products are "safe."
When my family and I played the game Imaginiff at Christmas, the card came up asking my family to Imaginiff I had a motto and to choose one of the following to describe what my motto would be: (1) pedal to the metal; (2) stop and smell the roses; (3) take the road less traveled; (4) better safe than sorry; (5) an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; or (6) love makes the world go round. If I remember correctly, I think the winning answer was #4 better safe than sorry.
Safety. That seems to be a resounding theme in my life. I always want to be safe and protected. From sickness. From crime. From being hurt. From making foolish decisions that will harm me. And so I pray often for my own protection and for my family's protection.
This safety issue is something that has plagued me most of my life. I can remember as a child being very afraid of burglars and thinking that someone was hiding behind every tree in our yard. Maybe that fear was born out of having a father who was sick and lived in a nursing home rather than in our home. I'm not sure. But I do know that all the security systems and security personnel in the world can't keep me totally safe. That's something I have to rely on God for.
And I also have to realize that sometimes God isn't always about being safe. The words of C.S. Lewis in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe echo in my mind: "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you." (p.86)
That's often not what I want to hear. Yes, I want the goodness of God, but I also want to be safe. And so I have to wrestle with my will and turn it over to Him. Not an easy task. But one I can dedicate more attention and time to if I'd stop running searches for safe products.
Father God, You know the desires of my heart and what's best for me. Help me to rest in who You are instead of my circumstances.