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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Conveniently Secure

The TSA "patdown" flap reveals an aspect of the American character that our forebears would have scorned.

Americans want to be secure, safe from the threat of terror and crime, and able to enjoy their freedoms without fear of harm or loss. At the same time, we don't want to be inconvenienced any more than necessary. We want to be secure, conveniently. And the TSA body scans and patdowns, while they may aid in keeping us secure, are not convenient. Indeed, they can be downright intrusive and even demeaning.

We could easily say, "Well, if you don't like it, don't fly." But then, that would not be convenient. Perhaps we could all become pilots or flight attendants, and thus be exempted from these security procedures? That would not be convenient, either. Or secure, I suspect.

The country is divided on this issue, with 64% opining that they'd rather be safe than sorry. Me too - if I ever flew anywhere, that is. However, I think there may be saner ways to maintain airline security. We'd still have to put up with some inconvenience, of course, but that's just the way it goes.

Our forebears wanted to be secure in their liberties, secure in their freedom of religion, and secure in their property. But they recognized that no one was going to hand them that security. Gaining it would not be convenient. Indeed, for some, it was ruinous.

Americans today expect government to make us secure without disturbing our comfortable existence, and not just on airplanes. But can we have both of these at one and the same time? Our sons and daughters on patrol in Afghanistan for our security are not grousing about the inconvenience of having to face death each day. They didn't have to sign up for our all-volunteer armed forces, but they recognize that a nation's security has to come at someone's inconvenience. So while the rest of us gripe about the grope or scoff at the scan, they take their lives in their hands each day so that we and our chidlren can continue to live free.

Aren't we grateful, at this Thanksgiving season, that Christ did not despise the inconvenience of incarnation, servanthood, suffering, and death so that we who believe in Him might be secure in His grace forever? And, more than grateful, should we not, for love of Him, embrace whatever inconvenience our King may be pleased to assign us in order to secure the progress of His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven?

We cannot be conveniently secure, whether in this temporal existence or in pursuit of eternal glory. There are always risks and inconveniences to be endured. They who are the most secure in Jesus Christ will be the most willing to be inconvenienced in His service. And they will be most blessed for it.

T. M. Moore

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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