Captain, I'm concerned about this vessel. It's taking on water. Why does that concern you? I can't swim.
“Our high calling is to be in the world, not of the world. It is not our being in that world that ruins us, but our suffering the world to be in us: just as ships sink, not by being in the water, but by the water getting into them.”
-Andrew Robert Fausset, A Critical and Expository Commentary on the Book of JudgesI used the above quote/analogyin Sunday's sermon on Judges 2:1-23 at Providence Church.
(click to listen)
It reminds me of the tension where it's easy to retreat from the world, so it doesn't "stain" you (cf. James 1:27), but then again you also have no impact on it. Likewise, it's not that hard to be in the world, to learn of it and become acclimated and assimilated. Yet, it is quite hard to be in it and not of it, rather making a positive influence on it.
Or, keeping with the analogy, ships are safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are made for.