Jim was at the point of decision. He had been challenged in his thinking about the need to orient his life toward his family, toward his children. He had grown suspect of the system in which he had been trained, which now had him locked into an eight to five schedule. His desire to know his children and to have opportunity to shape their love for Christ was pressing on him the need for change. But the obstacles his has been facing are huge, and real. He sat staring down at his Bible, could he really do it differently. Does he have what is takes to swim up stream against the flow of cultural norms?
Part of Biblical manhood is a willingness to take risks. A man wants to know if it can be done faster, straighter, higher, longer, bigger, more efficiently, better. Our culture is at war with Biblical manhood. Our system of training discourages boldness. It discourages creativity. It discourages risk.
Biblical risk is not the same as gambling. Gambling is an attempt to gain without work. Risk is a willingness to use what I have, combined with my diligent effort, to produce more.
Consider the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. What is the condemnation that is pronounced on the unproductive servant? Why did that condemnation come? Note the servant’s words, “Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.” The man was afraid and would not take action, unlike the rewarded servants who invested their entrusted resources and gained.
People in your history have taken risks that now benefit you. Think of just a few: Christopher Columbus, the colonists, inventors and entrepreneurs from whom you benefit everyday. Individuals in your family lineage took the risk to travel to this continent, embracing the risk of forsaking all that was known and familiar. The pioneer spirit (spirit of risk) drove men westward to secure hope for their families.
Beware! Risk is risky. Not all ventures succeed. That’s why it is called “risk”. There can be casualties. Do your homework well. Minimize the chances for loss. Get counsel to avoid unseen potholes. Some who venture out suffer greatly.
But the consequences for not moving are far worse. Woe unto us if we sit when we should be moving. Woe unto us if we allow fear to stop us from shaping our own future. Woe unto our children and grandchildren if we do not provide opportunity for them to walk in freedom.
God is calling you to something outside of yourself. He has entrusted resources and doors of opportunity to you that can change the future. Do not be overthrown by fear or complacency. Trust in the Lord your God, not the system of paralyzing comfort in which you have been trained. Go for it!