Take a risk!
Ever heard the word … take care? Of course, you have.
I believe that is perhaps one of the worst phrases one Christ-follower can say to another Christ-follower. Where is the encouragement in that? Encouragement to reach, trust, risk, achieve, or even hope.
Imagine God leaning over the gates of heaven looking at Jesus in that hay-filled manger in Bethlehem, saying, “Now Son, be careful. Don’t get in trouble down there. Say some nice things that followers will write down and remember. Feed some hungry people! You know, be nice, help some folks get well, perform a few miracles. You know, blind people begin to see, lame people walk… I’ll check back in a few years and see how you’ve done – but above all, Jesus be careful.”
No. What I believe God would more than likely have said to Jesus is…”Go for it! Take a risk! Do whatever you need to do to reach my children and connect them to me. Remember how the apostle Paul said, “Be careful for nothing”? And Jesus reminds us “that with God all things are possible!”
One of my favorite books in the New Testament is Mark’s gospel. At the ripe old age of (his late teen years) he shows us a truckload of “faith risk” examples. For instance in: Chapter 2 – Four guys brought their crippled friend to see Jesus. The house was so packed that they could not get in to Him. But in verse 4 it says, “when they could not… they did any way!”
Chapter 3 – A man with a crippled hand was in a Capernaum synagogue. Jesus told him to stretch forth his hand – something he had not been able to do for years. Jesus is saying, “I’m here today – take a risk.”
Chapter 5 – A woman reached out, in the mob around Jesus, and touched his robe. Her thought, “Jesus is here – I’m going to go for it… if I can just touch His robe!”
Chapter 6 - Andrew risked the ridicule of the crowd on the mountainside that day where Jesus wanted to feed them. He found a little boy and his lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fishes. Everybody laughed, then enjoyed a “fish and chips” ¬¬lunch – with leftovers.
Chapter 9 – A family had a son who had been attacked and possessed by a demon. They were beside themselves… and the dad said to Jesus, “I want to believe you can deliver my son… Help my unbelief.”
Then in Chapter 10 there was Blind Bart, the blind son of a blind father who risked it all in Jericho when he cried out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me!” That, too, was a risk, but a risk worth taking!
To be a “risk-taker” presumes doing. I looked into the face of a young man laying in a casket. I’m sure nobody there wanted to trade places with him. He wasn’t doing anything bad… he just wasn’t “doing”! Yet so many people almost become experts at doing no wrong. Many churches are against everything and when asked what is the church for,, the pause is defining.
Whatever happened to the Good News? You know “thou art… thou shall be”, the premise. “Follow me. I will make you to be fishers of men.” The potential when we do the will of the Father, we will enter his kingdom in heaven.
There’s been enough of the “what we don’t do.” We need to work on our “can do’s.” Isn’t that the reason for being here?
Now there will always be critics. Some don’t applaud the risk-takers – but if it’s right… just Do It!
Forget the faultfinders – detractors. They’re usually the seasick sailors on the voyage of life – rearranging the deck chains… and always complain that the music too loud.
A mom eagle, when she senses that it is time for the babies to fly, takes them one at a time on her back and soars heavenward. Then she tips over and lets them plummet toward the ground. Just before that eaglet is about to hit “terra firma”, that mother swoops under it and catches it, only to give another ride. After a few lessons, she brings it back to the nest with its brothers and sisters. Imagine its first words to the others, “Stay off mommy’s back today!” But without the risk, there is no flying and eagles would be destined to live with the turkeys.
The greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. ‘Cause when we do, we do nothing, have nothing, are nothing!