There is a saying, that "curiosity killed the cat". Well, if you've watched many cat videos, their curiosity gets them into ALL KINDS of trouble. How many of you can already picture the cat leaning over the edge of (name any object or surface) as it reaches down into a crevice and suddenly, just DISAPPEARS? Yeah, me too.
Well, here's the thing...reaching out - extending your hand beyond your 'natural' or convenient reach to rescue someone else can lead you to "go over the edge" as the old saying goes. It can put you in some precarious spaces. Places you'd rather not be. And - it CAN lead you to death. But not necessarily the death you are thinking of. Although, I suppose it could...but I digress.
Death to Selfie
What I am referring to here - is the death of self. To "leave the 99" as Jesus did and does still, "for the one" requires a dying to our personal priorities at times. In its purest form, 'rescue' does not come in the form of a scheduled appointment on your calendar. It is, at first blush, an inconvenience. It most often represents a strong redirect or reroute of your day, if not, your life.
All of this presumes that you are leaving yourself open and curious enough about other people to ask how they truly are, and actually stick around to listen for the full 'legit' answer.
When was the last time you stopped to have a conversation with someone at a street corner, holding up a sign for help, or intentionally gone to a homeless district just to have conversations with those that have become invisible to our communities? Am I sounding a little extreme? Okay, perhaps 'your neighbor' is not 'the homeless'. Maybe it's the person on the flight next to you that you are avoiding talking to cuz you just don't 'have the energy'. Or perhaps it's your hairdresser that you know will talk a mile-a-minute if you ask them a question. Or the person in the checkout line that is struggling with which card can cover their balance at the register. You get the point.
Opportunity doesn't always knock, but it's always there.
The truth is, there are countless opportunities we are faced with each week (let alone within a day) where we can provide some small form of rescue to those around us. Sometimes, you simply need to be self-aware enough to offer a smile to the person you see in front of you that you can tell is experiencing a soul-sucking or soul-crushing moment. The question we have to ask ourselves is, when did we lose our curiosity about others that would lead to neighborly conversation...that could lead to a small rescue?
As alluded to in our prior posts, curiosity can lead us to all forms of unexpected positive outcomes in life. And one of those positive outcomes IS rescue.
Here's a little added bonus for you as it relates to staying curious and living to rescue. In our efforts to make ourselves available to rescue others, we most often find ourselves rescued in the process. Rescued - from a life of self-interest, self-obsession, and self-indulgence. Rescue from the soul-suck of a self-centered life. Who wants the soul-suck anyway?!? Yeah, me neither.
So if you haven't figured it out already - rescue requires, not only that we "stay curious", but that we move on from the couch-surfing of our soul to riding the ever-growing wave of generosity that quite frankly, the world is outpacing us on.
My brother, he ain't heavy - until he is...
If some of this sounds just a little heavy, I apologize. Let's try some hope on for a moment here.
The beauty of curiosity - of rescue, is that it opens us up to a wildly brilliant new life of opportunity.
The scriptures say, "those who refresh others, will themselves be refreshed". That does not mean that we give to get, it is simply a principle that is inextricably true. If you rescue - you WILL be rescued. You can't avoid or escape that truth.
Jesus said, "those who save their life, will lose it, but those who lose their life for my sake, will find it". Jesus paid the ultimate price with his life, and what was gained, was life for EVERYONE. Living a life of curiosity - of rescue - has a costly yet beautiful payoff. And it is worth the price.
When you look at the life of Jesus, who, if you believe like we do that He is God, He KNEW everything, yet, he knew that taking a curious interest in others, would open the door to conversations that lead to life.
So - what's holding you back? How long will you allow passive distraction to keep you from a life of intentional curiosity - from a life that will rescue others and rescue your own? Only you know the answer. Only you can live a life of risk and rescue for yourself - nobody else will live it for you. So go on. Pack 9 lives into one, and "go after the one"