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No escape hatch

Why not put an escape hatch into your life? If things don’t work out in one place, you can move onto another. Escape hatches are prudent responses to an ever-changing world, right? So, if I’m a bad fit for the team, if we have the understanding that it’s OK to part company, nobody’s feelings…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Why not put an escape hatch into your life? If things don’t work out in one place, you can move onto another. Escape hatches are prudent responses to an ever-changing world, right?
So, if I’m a bad fit for the team, if we have the understanding that it’s OK to part company, nobody’s feelings are hurt. If I don’t like the first job out of school, I can look for another after a year. If that guy or gal proves to be not as special as I thought, we break up – no harm, no foul. Put an escape hatch clause into every commitment and when it goes south, you can back out tactfully.
 
But the problem with escape hatch living is that with one foot out the door, you’re never fully invested. Organic things take time to grow, usually longer than you want. How do we know that the time frame we have in our heads matches with reality? Relationships are messy – most will offer you plenty of reasons to climb through the escape hatch if you’re so inclined. And if you work with a startup business, it will need years of negative cash flow before it turns the corner. Most things look like failures before they succeed.
 
Look, I’m not saying, “Don’t hedge your bets.” But what complicates matters is the we follow a Lord who asked his followers to get rid of their escape hatches. “Sell all your possessions, give them to the poor and follow me,” he said. “Let the dead bury their own dead.” “Leave your nets and boats and homes and friends.” Sell out, seek the kingdom –  that’s the standard.
 
The best things in life came when I got rid of my escape hatches. My marriage. Five kids on a missionary’s salary. Moving to Indonesia. And in 1989 when I’d overdosed on risk and tried to create some escape hatches when I started AIM (by also starting a travel agency, a financial firm), God wouldn’t let me. He gently pried my fingers off of them and whispered, “Let ’em go,” the only security you’ll ever have is in following the call I’ve given you anyway.”
 
If I could give my children’s generation a gift, it would be to get rid of their escape hatches. In the end, life is messy and risky. The best thing to do is to dive into the mess and enjoy the ride.

Comments (8)

  • It has taken me a long time to actually grasp this, but probably for one of the first times in my life, I’ve stopped trying to make a Plan B. No escape hatch for me. It’s so scary, but SO good. Thank you for this!

  • Love this post! So encouraging and so true for my life right now at this stage (and… for the rest of my life too!).

  • Thank you Seth…

    Sometimes “escape hatches” are dismantled in the dark nights of your soul and you come to that realization in the morning.

    I appreciate you….always.

  • Thanks Seth for continuing to challenge us to more… To more faith, to more love, and to more of Jesus.

    God is eliminating my last escape hatch as we speak. It’s scary, yet exciting as I think of the possibilities of what God will do as I stay engaged and committed.

    Thank you –

  • SO TIMELY! There are two open doors before me. All which are great. This actually confirmed a literal sentence I spoke out of my mouth. One is an escape hatch.

    I always come to your blogs (in part) for answers, Seth. God is so faithful to use you in my life. Would love to catch up. So much to tell 🙂

  • my life is full of them. im shaking my head… at myself!
    “the just in cases”. once in a Word i referred to these “hatches” as our “plan Bs” yet ive noy REALLY looked at how many of them i REALLY have.
    Lord have mercy.
    God i want to do your will… WHOLEHEARTEDLY ie NO RESERVATIONS.. with FULL abandonment…
    *why is it your posts prompt me to dialogue with Christ?!! <-- HA!! a GOOD thing indeed! once again thank you for sharing! jo

  • Completely agree. So liberating and yet so hard to do; but the freedom in Christ is so worth it.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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