The road straight ahead of me appears to be the safest, and it is familiar so why not just go with the flow? After all I am not alone, this seems to be the road most travelled. There are just too many unknowns waiting at every exit and I’m fearful of getting lost or at least sidetracked.
If this scenario seems familiar, it’s because the metaphorical road well travelled is precisely where most of us end up on our journey to the end of life. We get a job that pays well; although it might not be the dream job, it is relatively secure. We marry and have children, but only two or three because having more kids might be too much of a financial strain. And so the story goes…on and on and on!
But is the restraint worth it? Is the risk so great that we would miss the scenic route with all its beauty and splendour and instead take the safe, if not boring path? Will we arrive at the end of our days and say, “I’m so glad I didn’t take any risks in my life and played it safe?” Or will we have regrets because we never veered off the familiar road?
As we enter 2014 may we at least consider taking a few daring leaps into the unknown? I’m not talking about foolish escapades that would lead us to destruction, rather, simply allowing God to lead us where He can best use us for His purposes. I guess it’s really a matter of trust—our God actually knows the path we should take or He doesn’t! The Apostle Paul encourages us to trust God in this way: “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT)
As the collective body of Jesus followers, are we also willing to take a few risks with the full confidence that God, who delivered us from our sins, will honour our efforts? 2 Timothy 4:7 reminds us that at the end of his life Paul was able to say,
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.”
Notice that Paul didn’t say, “I kept a safe distance from the battle, I never entered the race because I was afraid of losing, but I have been faithful to my church.” Our faithfulness to God has little to do with playing it safe. It has everything to do with risking our all for Him who gave His life for us. When the growth of God’s kingdom is the goal, there is too much at stake to not take a risk!
I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in leaving this life with the regret of not taking risks for Jesus! Of course I have personal regrets about decisions I’ve made and words I’ve spoken, but I would hope that refusing to take a few risks for Christ will not be one of them! So the next time you’re faced with the option to take the scenic and less travelled route, take it…the risk will be worth it! I don’t know what lies ahead of me, although sometimes I wish I did, but I hope and pray 2014 will be a year of risk taking—no regrets allowed! Will you join me?