Today I would propose to you that the most exciting and the greatest life lived is when you are "Remaining on the Edge of Life."
What do I mean by speaking of "REMAINING ON THE EDGE?"
Remaining on the Edge is a Figure of Speech. It is, similar to the idea of Living Life to the fullest. We understand that Concept quite well. We know we should not deny ourselves new Experiences and Adventures when there are Opportunities to Take Advantage Of.
Like Going on a Canoe Trip down a River–and Speaking of Which, Up where Suse lives, I see a nice opportunity to throw a canoe into the nearby river, go down-stream about an hour–get the Canoe out of the river–walk it up the River Bank and get back into the Canal–and paddle back to Suse's House . . . Sounds like a great Adventure to
me! Living life to the Fullest requires having a Visionary Eye to Available Opportunities. Seeing where Energy is naturally available (like the river) and where it is stored (the canal) demonstrates an Edge of Opportunity. As a metaphor, there are many such places in life and faith for us to get onto the edge.
If One wishes to Live life along the Edges – One must practice being Alert of One's Surroundings. To be a Visionary is to be constantly Re-accessing Life – asking Questions like: "Am I fulfilled in what I am doing? Does the Time I Spend doing whatever it is I do – with the Majority of my time – make a Difference for Others? Is it
Making a Difference for God? Am I a better person? Is what I do Good or Bad??!
Interestingly in Nature, the Edge is the most productive, fertile ground. It is the place where Predators find prey, where Abundant Food Sources are located. Like anglers know that a drop off in a body of water, like a channel within a river or lake, creates one of these Transition Zones–its where the fish are feeding.
The Edge where forests meet fields is where the ENERGY can be found–its where the buck is feeding on the hedgerow, where the rabbits are living in the thickets.
Make a study in your own life environment. Look for the places where things are happening on a consistent basis. See the points where things are coming together–where people are meeting, or where the productivity is greatest–this is the Edge, and it's where we want to be. It's where the Action is!
I would propose that in the Cases of our Two Subjects in the Gospel Lesson from Mark. Jairus, the Synagogue Official, and the Unnamed Woman who was hemorrhaging -- these two Persons were caught up in this Process we are discussing here. They were Moving Themselves toward the Edges of their world.
Again, you ask, What do I mean that they were Moving themselves to the Edge . . . the Edge of What?
Jairus' story is most fitting here. He has an important position in the Synagogue. Which is another way of saying, not unlike a Pastor or Priest living here in Emmitsburg, he was in a Position of some Authority. By his position, he has the Respect of Many in the Community – so his whole life revolves (to a degree) around
Maintaining and Increasing the Respect of his peers and those who are under him in authority. Maintaining one's status can become a a full-time occupation. Even though it can gain you great worldly rewards, these are all temporal. There is no lasting value–nothing done in the realm of status for Jairus will be notable or remembered
honorably when he is gone.
When his Daughter becomes Ill – Jairus is forced to engage in weighing out his options. The unthinkable Option is that doing nothing–his daughter will die–but doing something, even though she may still die -- this is the right choice of, it is honorable. However, Approaching Jesus, the Radical Rabbi who is being rejected by the
Leading Religious Authorities – the Pharisees, entails a manner of Risk. Going to Jesus will endanger Jairus' Status and possibly his Occupation. Approaching Jesus, automatically places him in a line of controversy with his peers. Affiliating with the Teacher, places him at odds with the many who make his high standard of living
Yet Jairus Chooses to Move Toward the Edge. He chooses the path of Risk. What is most significant is that, as he goes in that way, he is engaging his Faith.
The Woman who was suffering in the middle of the story of Jesus' heading for Jairus' house, also is going toward the Edge of her world. As we know, she's already suffering physically. She's also suffering socially or we could say -- she's suffering "Religiously."
If she obeys the LAW, she must remain socially isolated–if she disobeys the Law, she is under condemnation – Playing the Edge of her World she Determines in her mind to Go and seek out Jesus. This also places her in the realm of faith.
When we engage in risk for what we believe - then we are engaging our faith and this is an act of treading along the line – it is the fertile ground of the Edge. It is a place of both danger and excitement – fear and triumph are right there for us.
How is it for you or me? What are the two sides of the Ridge in your Life??
One could be complete Rejection of God–ignoring Jesus, not participating in Worship . . . the other could be "radical faith" – or going "over the edge," which leads to fanaticism.
But somewhere in between (though I think we might want to lean a little more to the Radical Side) . . . there is the Exciting Place where God has Ministry and Mission Work for us.
This is the Place of the EDGE. May we find ourselves there.
Let us pray,
Lord Jesus, I don't always choose a path that leads me closer to you, but I want to get to that place, more nearer to the edge of abiding with you. I cannot exist only for my own sake, but that you would be glorified through my life. Lead me dear Lord and I shall follow. Show me the Path that transverses the line of faith. In your
Name I pray. Amen