The Eastpoint Blog
Dec3SatDecember 3, 2016
Changing the world is risky business. Jesus took a risk and invested his ministry life in twelve guys, and one of them betrayed him. God has invested deeply in you. He has given you life, resources, love, opportunities and his image. Then he trusts you with free will, and that’s extremely risky, considering how often we misuse this precious gift. However, when we take a chance and step out, by faith, to create something that does not yet exist that is when we are most like God. God is a risk taker.
Gloria and I were out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, enjoying every tasty bite of some incredible New England cooking. We were nearing the end of a great meal when an unforgettable moment took place. An older couple was making their way to the exit very slowly, as people sometimes do when they are eighty or ninety years of age. The gentleman was only able to take little tiny steps. It seemed like it was taking him forever to just get past our table. Then he stopped to rest for a moment and he looked at us with a smile and said, “I bet you wonder what I’m doing…I’m posing for animal crackers.” We laughed with him and were wonderfully amazed at his sense of humor. I have thought about his humorous comment countless times since that day. I have come to the conclusion that most people go through life, “posing for animal crackers.” As one octogenarian friend put it recently when I asked him how he was doing he said, “I’m just coasting.”
Most people are just coasting and they wouldn’t dare take a risk. What a shame. It is in the risk taking that you will find authentic life. The adrenaline rush that brings joy, hope, and power to create a better world only comes when we take a chance. Like Nike says, “Just do it.” Whatever your age you’re too young to coast and nobody wants to eat an animal cracker that looks like an old guy.
Thomas Edison filed an incredible 1,093 patents and in the process he failed thousands of times but he kept on risking everything—never giving up. He spent his life taking risks and because of it he gave us the light bulb to light the darkest night. He invented the phonograph so we could dance the night away listing to our favorite CD’s and he gave us the motion picture camera that has brought to life stories of old and faraway places that most of us would never have experience without him. What if Bill Gates, the modern version of Edison, had not been willing to risk failure to start Microsoft? I don’t know what I would be using to write this book with right now if it were not for him. Not to mention, the Gates Foundation has invested millions of dollars providing life-saving immunizations to at-risk populations around the world.
Risk-takers have made all of our lives better. Your mom risked death to give you life. Your teachers risked wasting thousands of hours teaching you the basic skills of life with the hope that you would make something of yourself. When a person falls in love they risk the pain of being rejected. When you enter into the pain of hurting people you risk loosing yourself to ease their suffering. Life is a gamble. God knows the outcome but we don’t. So, we take a chance at succeeding but, most of the time we fail and that’s okay. Professional baseball players are considered extremely successful if their batting average is .300. However, that means they fail 70% of the time. It is in the failure that we succeed. It is in the risk-taking that we make life better for ourselves and every one around us.
Jesus risked everything to come to earth and die for mankind. God wants you to go all out. He wants you to risk failure. In fact, even when you fail on behalf of others that is success in God’s eyes. So, jump into the water! Only when you risk getting wet, like Peter, will you find out whether you can walk on water or not.
If you want to change the world, you'll be a risk-taker.