“Follow Me” Means “Take A Chance”
Immigration made America great. How?
It might be in the genes. Scientists have identified an adventure gene. A gene that predisposes people to take risks. You could call it the “What if?” gene. (Its real name is DRD4.)
America was likely populated by people with that gene—whether it was Asians wondering what life might be like to wander east across the Bering, whites of various ethnicities heading west across the Atlantic, blacks arriving here not by choice but surviving to seek freedom, or today’s huddled masses lining the Rio Grande. A high percentage of the people who found their way here loaded our cultural gene pool with the “What if?” gene.
Here is a description of the What if? gene in a post written by Xiao.
The natural desire to explore is most intensely expressed in children, who aggressively form hypotheses in their minds and experiment. Can I place this block on another one without toppling over? Will I get the cookie if I cry or ask nicely? What happens if I hit the person who takes my toy, will they give my toy back or fight back? What if I hop over this fence I’m not suppose to; will I find new things to do? Such ruthlessly efficient hypothesis testing makes children natural adventurers.
And people who retain this adventurous trait in adulthood are the explorers. The ones who dare to venture into unchartered territories.
The ones who push human civilizations forward.
Christians seeking religious freedom were among the early immigration waves. They were the innovators and risk-takers in the Church at a time when it was risky to ask any questions.
Their dedication inappropriately labeled our country “a Christian nation.” We were a nation with a lot of Christians but never a Christian nation.
Lacking that gene leads to contentment—lives lived in the same town or job, among the same people. Perhaps the contented have their own gene—the rocking chair gene.
Without an influx of new blood, the percentages even out over time. The rocking chair gene grows and the What if? gene wanes.
Are we able to explore and take the risks that might move us in new directions? Or is the rocking chair gene moving us back and forth in the same place?
Christianity has prospered in America for a dozen or more generations. Is our gene pool now diluted? Does the population that comprises the Church have leaders with the risk-taking gene?
All Christian should ask these questions of ourselves. We should ask these questions before we call a pastor. We should ask again as we elect leaders. Will they forge a new direction? Will they create a lot of movement that gets us nowhere?
If we no longer have the risk-taking gene, we need to find new blood. Leaders who cannot accept risks are not leaders. They are rocking chair jockeys. The rocking chair gene would have kept Moses in Egypt. It would have kept the disciples in the Upper Room.
Jesus chose followers with the risk-taking gene. “Follow me. No questions.” Accepting the call, means accepting the journey. Sky-divers don’t dwell on the landing. They relish getting there.