A couple of weeks ago I saw the movie The Hunger Games and I loved it. After watching the movie I decided to purchase the book and found that the book is even better than the movie. I was instantly hooked into the story line and could barely put the book down. Without giving too much of the storyline away, the book chronicles the life of a girl who lives in the country of Panem in district 12. Every year Panem, made up of 12 districts, chooses two people from each district to enter into the Hunger Games. The person who wins the Hunger Games inherits a better life, at least for the moment, and no longer faces the stress of finding food to feed their family (hence the name The Hunger Games).
As I was reading the book, a line captured me and really caused me to do some “theological reflection” J. Katniss Everdeen, the main character in the book, and her friend Gale were envisioning life without the watchful eye of District 12’s officials. They were dreaming of what freedom would look like. But before the conversation could get too far and freedom seem within reach, they both cancelled out any thoughts of leaving the safety of the district. Even though this District is a place where there is great famine and the officials rule with iron fists, the occupants would rather live in bondage than possess freedom. Katniss puts it this way, “District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety...”
Reading this quote I thought about times in my own life when I resisted the promises of freedom for fear that I wouldn’t survive and couldn’t embrace the comforts of safety. I thought about those times when I was possibly choosing spiritual or emotional starvation over taking the risk and going for what I sensed would lead to a better situation. For some of us starving in safety could be remaining in an unhealthy relationship for the sake of being connected to someone else. For others starving in safety could be sticking with a dead-end job for the sake of paying bills (and we do have to pay our bills) instead of taking the risk and starting the business we’ve always dreamed about. Sometimes choosing to starve in safety could be not implementing that ministry idea for fear of what others may think.
But, let me just say that choosing to stay in places of safety that are not build to nourish and maintain you can only lead to one thing…STARVATION! How do we continue grow as individuals and servants of God if we are not willing to take some risk and be dissatisfied with the starvation that can come with staying in safe places? We have to take some risk and decide that starving in safety is not an option. We must go after our dreams and goals and step out on faith (in God’s timing). We must relinquish the impoverished mentality that starvation creates and possess a mindset that welcomes freedom. Stay Hungry…HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT!