Safer Isn't Always Better
Some of you may know that one of my streams of income is selling at local trade shows around the DFW area. If you don’t know what they are, just think of huge, gigantic flea markets. The three that I go to right now are 1st Mondays in Canton, 2nd Mondays in Bowie, and 3rd Mondays in McKinney. Well at the McKinney trade show God taught me something that I feel is rather important. “Safer is not always better.”
So…here’s what happened…. the month before this life lesson I asked the owners of 3rd Mondays if I could be put on the waiting list for the indoor mall. They put me on the list, but they told me it is unlikely that there would be an opening for the next month. I commented, “I’ll just ask God for favor.”
Before I go on let me explain why I wanted to get into the mall rather than the outdoor overhang pavilion areas (I’m not exactly sure what to call those). I wanted to be indoors so that during storms I wouldn’t have to worry about my journals, pens, and books getting ruined from the rain. One month a storm came in so fast that I didn’t have enough time to tear down before the rain started. Luckily it wasn’t a hard rain yet, and I was able to keep my journals and books from getting too wet, but I did have to replace one of my display books because it got rained on really bad.
So, now, back to my life lesson. A couple days passed and I got a phone call from the McKinney flea market owner saying that two spaces opened up and I could have them if I wanted. I went out later that week and looked at the spots. They were a little smaller, but I could rent two spaces. They were a lot more expensive, but that was because they were in an air-conditioned building. Well, I took the two spaces and the next month I was in the mall.
So, here is why I say God taught me this lesson that safer is not always better. The traffic was not near as much as I had when I had an outside space in the more potentially “dangerous” weather for my products. Now, I did make all my money back for renting the spaces, but my profit margin was not near as much as it could have been if I was outside. Now, making money is not the end-all, but it helps to pay the bills, am I right?
Anyway, on a more minuscule note for this new space, I had already gotten spoiled by being able to park my Jeep behind my vending spot and just sleep there. You see, I camp out at these trade days because they are an hour or more away from home. My usual routine for 3rd Mondays is that I park behind my space, set up, then tear down when it's over and sleep in my jeep the night, and set back up in the morning. In the mall, we have to move our vehicles to a designated parking area. Not that that is a big deal…but…I did get spoiled by being able to stay in one area for the whole of my weekend there.
So, God did give me favor in allowing me a safer space for selling my products, but I don’t think God was giving me favor so he could bless me more, but just because I asked him for it, even though He knew I would do better in the more “dangerous” spot outside. God gave me this favor because I asked and though he knew it wouldn’t be as good as a deal as all the other months I have sold there, He decided he would teach me a great life lesson, safer isn’t always better.
Let’s apply this to our spiritual life. I think a lot of times, we as Christians want to live out our Christian walk safely, which is not necessarily a bad thing. We want to have that steady paycheck and stress-free life. We want to be able to read our Bibles but not be made fun of for it. We want the blessings of God, but we don’t want the uncertainty of walking up to a stranger and preaching Jesus or giving them a word from God. We don’t want to look like the crazy Jesus freaks…. that…. we…. should be.
Here is something I know about God; he won’t ever force us to live dangerously. We will always have an out. However, I also know that if we do live “dangerously” God will bless us immeasurably more. I am actually in the process of learning this myself. In fact, God has been teaching me this very concept over the past couple of years. I currently have no “real job,” and I have to depend on God to supply the cash I need to pay all of my bills, the money to buy more product, and some leftover to have a little fun.
To be honest, I kind of hate it. I hate having to “see” if God will actually provide. I tithe on the money I feel I sometimes don’t have and I have learned that even when I don’t “have the money” if I tithe, I somehow get the money. I really hate having to trust God for the one thing that is essential in the United States for living. Money. Without money, you can’t buy food, clothes, pay rent, get gas. It is the one thing that without it everything is just that much more difficult to get. But that is where God comes in.
In learning to depend on God, which is not “safe,” I have learned that it really is the safest place to be. Yes, I stress about it because I doubt, but every single time I doubt, God shows up and says, “Yo, I got you!” He has never let me down…. now I may have felt at the moment that he let me down…. but as time went on, I realized that in the long run, he didn’t. It turned out better for me.
Right now, I am living the most “dangerously” that I have ever lived. Without having any “real job.” Long story short…well…at least this part of it…I feel like God wants me to pursue a full-time writing career, and so I have stepped out on faith. Now, this faith journey happened in increments as God kept asking me to trust him more until my faith grew to the point it is now – that is another blog post, though.
Right now, my only streams of income are these trade shows, giving plasma, uber eats on occasion, and audiobook narrator (though I haven’t gotten any gigs from that yet). This last weekend I told God after looking over my bills that I needed a minimum of $500.00 sales for each of the three trade weekends I attend. I wasn’t really sure he was going to hook me up with it at 1st Mondays…but…of course…He did. He actually went above and beyond that and gave me a little over two hundred more than I requested.
Now, talk about your faith booster. Again, and again, God shows me that He has my back, and again and again, I begin to doubt. When will I ever fully understand the greatness, love, and awesomeness of God? Probably never.
So, I say all of this, and talked unnecessarily too much about myself…what can I say…. I’m just too egocentric….to say this. Though we can live an okay Christian life “safely,” we should desire to live dangerously because the dangerous Christianity is the real Christianity. Not to say that if we don’t live every minute stressing about trusting God, that we aren’t Christians, but, honestly, I am living it up! Yes, without much money, but it is just soooooooooooooooooooo awesome to see how God loves me, wants me to follow my dreams, and provides in the totally coolest ways!
Now that is something I never want to lose. I want to continue to live dangerously and see what God does next! Imagine what the world would be like if we all lived dangerously!
Anywhoo, thanks for reading. I hope this encourages you to live dangerously for Christ and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do because it is truly the most amazing life!
Until next time.