I remember the first time I stuck my bare toe into a mountain lake testing the water. It was a cold morning after a night of camping. I was considering jumping in the water to take a bath. I remember the goose bumps that suddenly appeared all over my body and the shivers that went all the way from my toe to the top of my head. My first impulse was to think, “No way am I getting in that water!”
In the text, we find three men who have been given a chance to protect a portion of their master’s estate. Each is given money to manage. It must have been really frightening to be given such a responsibility.
Two of the men saw the responsibility as a way to help their master improve his holdings. They invested their shares in several ventures. One hit the jackpot and made a great deal of money. The other didn’t have quite the same level of good fortune, but still increased his master’s wealth considerably. When the master returned, they were rewarded according to their achievements.
The third man was overcome by his responsibility and became frightened of it. He was afraid to invest the money he had been given for fear he would lose it. Instead of investing the money, he buried it to ensure he would be able to return every cent.
Back to my goose bumps. I did finally jump into the water. When I got into the water, I discovered that, as cold as it was, it was warmer than the air temperature. I was able to realize that what had seemed a risky venture only moments before, was really a very wise choice. I can’t say that the water was comfortable (it was still too cold to remain in for long) but I was able to finish my bath.
It seems to me that Jesus’ parable is not just about risks, but about trust. The two men who took the risk could do this because they trusted their master. They trusted their master to appreciate their efforts, even if they failed. The third man, however, could not trust, instead, he was frozen in fear.
I believe, like the master in the parable, God has given us a life with abilities to invest in for God’s favor. Yes, there is risk, but God will still be there for us. Like the cold water in the mountain lake, taking the risk is not as bad as it first seems. For that very fact, I was thankful.
Come join us at First Christian Church Warrensburg, Missouri this Sunday during one of our worship services. There we will send God prayers of thanksgiving for all the blessings of life we have received.