God is also asking of you and I to face the challenges of this life, many involving risk and the willingness to bite down hard, squint and leap with faith. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
I’m not what you might consider a risk taker; however, I do strive to take some risks. The risks that I try to avoid are those which when calculated, based on the possibility of success, are minimal at best. For example, I have a pretty good idea of how far I can jump. If I’m poised on a precipice anticipating a jump to another which is obviously beyond my leaping range, I will not jump. The outcome is determined before I can even mount the courage to consider it. I will fall short and in the very least injure myself seriously. These risks aren’t really risks; they are fool’s choices. However, there are other risks to be considered when calculating success or failure. These are the risks that could go either way. Jumping from rock to rock out in the middle of the stream behind our house involves risk. If I slip when I launch, the odds are that I will end up with a soaker. I could even topple into the stream and get completely wet. The consequences of failure are apparent, but the risk is worthwhile since the consequences can be dealt with, however inconvenient. Life is full of these latter risks, and there are some who take them and others who don’t. I do because I enjoy succeeding when there is the risk of failing. I believe God intended us to react to risk in this manner.
People who never take risks, and do so because they don’t ever wish to be inconvenienced, are themselves taking risks that they don’t need to take. When we avoid all risk we are more likely to suffer from the inevitable failures that come in life whether there is risk involved or not. Risk takers are well acquainted with failure, failure that shapes our lives for the better.
Here’s a thought from Theodore Roosevelt about risk. “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” (Theodore Roosevelt.)
When as Christians we dedicate ourselves to following Jesus, we can never do so without incurring risk. Scriptures tell us that, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Here Jesus is telling us to be forward thinking, focused on the job at hand, and, although acquainted with risk, not seeking to avoid it in order to find another time or place to do God’s bidding. When called to plow, the time is now and the furrows God is requiring us to make are ahead of us and not behind. When I jump from stone to stone in the stream behind our house, I am doing so knowing that there is risk but I am capable as long as I am willing to take the sporting risk, as Oswald Chambers put it, to launch from one rock to another. That is what God is also asking of you and I as we face the challenges of this life, many involving risk and the willingness to bite down hard, squint and leap. Trusting in God with every ounce of our spirit, willing to take that sporting risk, we leap into the challenges of the day with a faith that is both emboldened by the outcome that is promised and a spirit that finds pleasure in the sporting risk inherent in the call to trust.
We pray. Thank you Lord for the gift of faith through Jesus Christ our Lord. Forgive us Father when we allow the fear of taking faithful risks, ordained by your call to trust, because we are afraid of committing ourselves to an outcome we aren’t sure of. May we always be willing to assume the risks inherent in the call with a faith that is bold, and a spirit that is founded on trust that you will be faithful to guide every leap of faith we make. In
Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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