Is It Time You Took a Risk?
- Cliff Young Contributing Writer
- 2006 25 Apr
Risk, n., 1. possibility of loss or injury
2. someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard
Risk is a scary word. Risk is even a scarier action. Many people live their lives trying to avoid taking risks at all cost, but risk is all around us and in everything we do.
Everything in regards to money is risky. Spending more than you make, which a majority of Americans do, is risky. Saving money is a better alternative, but depending upon where and with whom you save or invest it can also be a risk. Financial institutions know this and have disclaimers that use the term “risk” in all of their publications.
“An investor should consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing.”
The Bible is littered with examples of people who were afraid to take a risk and often avoided or ran from those situations.
Moses – “But who am I to appear before Pharaoh? How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11 (NLT).
Jonah - ran from Nineveh where God had told him to go. God delivered Jonah there anyways through the belly of a great fish.
The Bible also speaks of those who obeyed God and the blessings that followed.
Abraham – “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going” Hebrews 11:8 (NLT). “I will cause you to become the father of a great nation” Genesis 12:2 (NLT).
Phillip – “An angel of the Lord said to him, ‘Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ So he did and met the treasurer of Ethiopia” Acts 8:26 (NLT).
We also have amazing examples of Christians around the world who risked everything for their faith. The movie "End of the Spear" recently released and depicts the life and times of Jim Elliott, who risked himself and the life of his family for the cause of Christ.
As singles, we have the most opportunity to take risks (and avoid them), especially when it comes to relationships. We don’t need to go out and date non-Christians or do anything that may be contrary to what the Bible teaches us, but sometimes we need to take a risk.
According to my single female friends, many Christian guys do not take the first step in a relationship, maybe because of fear, fear of rejection, fear of embarrassment, fear of the unknown.
And, on the other side, some Christian girls, when asked or pursued, don’t accept or respond because of similar fears, fear of a broken heart, fear of embarrassment (of being with a guy who doesn’t look like Brad Pitt), or lack of self-esteem.
I just saw the movie, "March of the Penguins." Alone. But that’s not the point. What I found most fascinating was that the male Emperor Penguins walk 70 miles from their water home to find a mate, every year. 70 miles! I know guys that won’t even walk across a room to meet a girl!
We can negotiate multi-million dollar deals, we can design computers that can process information at rates we can’t even comprehend, we can send a space probe millions of miles away and land on another planet by itself, but we can’t get on the phone to ask someone out? But penguins can walk 70 miles (in the snow uphill both ways) in subzero temperatures avoiding predators in order to find a mate. And we’re the “intelligent” beings?!
In a commencement speech at Stanford University last year, Steve Jobs, Founder and CEO of Apple Computers and Pixar Animation Studios said:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others' opinion drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
He may not have been speaking from a Christian perspective, but nevertheless addresses the point that we shouldn’t be so concerned about what other people say and do; we need to follow that “inner voice” – in a believer's case, the Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ short time on earth, He showed us that He was a risk taker, he didn’t settle for “being comfortable.” He went out of His way to live trusting in His Father, preaching the gospel, and approaching the lost. He lived out His passion and His calling.
If we are to live our Christian lives as Christ lived, we need to be bold, and we need to take some risks. We need to be fiscally responsible, we need to be strong and courageous in our faith (living it and sharing it) and, if called, we need to take some risks in the pursuit of a mate.
Whatever the challenge you face, whatever the problems that may seem insurmountable, there are usually two ways to face it: head on or allowing IT to find you. I pray you choose wisely.
Cliff Young is a contributing writer to "Sandlot Stories" (ARose Books). An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to [email protected].