The helmet of salvation
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Most of the outdoor activities I do don’t require a helmet. I’m not one of those guys that has to have an adrenaline rush to enjoy nature, so most of my outings don’t involve high risks. I have done a little rock and tree climbing, though, and and I’m always impressed by the attention to safety. Ropes and knots get double and triple checked. The rope even gets it’s own mat to protect it from dirt and rocks and nicks. And if comfort is inversely related to safety, then the climbing harness must be the safest piece of equipment ever invented! Then there’s the helmet, that one piece of gear you hope that you’ll never actually need, the one thing that is intended to keep you alive when all else goes wrong: when your cam comes loose above you or your belayer gets distracted below you by a bee in his face and you come skipping down the side of the rock. Helmets are common to outdoor sports that pose a real risk of head trauma: rock and ice climbing, river kayaking and rafting, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding. No matter how bad the situation gets, no matter if your other gear fails you, the helmet is there to make sure that you live to play another day.
My daughter Sydney descending from the rain forest canopy in Costa Rica.
Paul equates our salvation, that eternal security we receive from faith in Christ, with a soldier’s helmet. In battle, a blow to the head with a gladius or spear would have been fatal without headgear. Similarly, in life, any serious blow from the enemy would prove eternally fatal without God’s gift of salvation. It is that one piece of gear that is essential above all others, and without which we shouldn’t even step outside our front door.
So, the next time you strap on your helmet to ride your enduro bike down some crazy singletrack, or to rappel down a narrow canyon, or to take a double black diamond ski run, remember the helmet of salvation that God has so graciously given to you. And take a minute to thank him for it.
Questions for thought
Do you know anyone who is out there living a risky life without a helmet? Do they even know one is available? Do they know the risks?
What sports do you do that require a helmet? Are you entering life’s daily battle with the helmet of salvation? Do you know one is available to you?
Lord, without the helmet of salvation, none of the other armor you offer us has any use. We are so grateful that you have saved us from the penalty of our sinful, selfish choices and prepared a place for us in eternity with you. Knowing this, empower us to confidently enter into each day’s battle, fully armed and ready to fight the darkness around us, confident that our eternal life is securely in your hands. We ask this in Christ’s name. Amen.