This is an article I wrote for the September 1995 newsletter, 22 years ago. In light of all the struggles and problems many are facing in our church and many others are facing in our world, I thought it would be good to publish it again.
Have Fun in Colorado, But Watch Out!
I'm not sure where in Colorado I saw the sign the first time, but I do remember that the words on the sign struck me as a bit odd. I don't recall specifically what the sign said, but it cited a Colorado state code and the upshot of the message was this: "While there are many enjoyable things to do here, many of these things are inherently dangerous and could cause bodily harm, injury and even death. You are at your own risk! Have a nice day."
Well, I'm pretty sure it didn't say, "Have a nice day," but the sign struck me as rather unique. I certainly didn't recall ever seeing such a sign in Tennessee or any other state for that matter. Was it that Colorado was just that much more dangerous? Or was it a nice legal way to say, "Don't bother suing us! If something bad happens, it's your own fault; so leave us alone!"
Well, it didn't stop us or anyone else in our extended family from enjoying ourselves. We still hiked and went horseback riding. Others went white-water rafting down fast-flowing rivers. We had fun in spite of the ominous signs posted at various places around us.
It did remind me, however, that living in the world is a risky business. I could imagine having a sign posted at the Davidson County line saying, "Enter at your own risk! People frequently tend to drive in an erratic manner, so watch out. You have been warned!" In fact, we could erect signs all over. "Walking up these steps is dangerous when they are wet. If you slip and fall, you can't sue us because we warned you."
Now I think I can understand why the state of Colorado has enacted this code cited on these signs. We live in such a law-suit crazy world that you can get sued over just about anything. I don't disparage the state of Colorado at all, but I do lament the state of our culture that looks for countless ways to become victims. The signs in Colorado simply stated what people have known all along, but are trying to ignore. The world is dangerous and living life and enjoying life means taking some risks.
Why bring all of this up? We live in a dangerous world, but it is a world which is firmly in the hands of our loving God and Father. Even though we may face dangers and risks, this world, along with you and I, are being held ever so carefully in our Father's hands. And if something bad happens to us, it is not the end of the world even though it may be very difficult; God won't let go of the ones He loves.