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Monday, September 30, 2013

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing

A fairly recent column in The Holmes County  Bargain Hunter. What is risk to you? 

Risk: the possibility of suffering harm or loss; danger.

There is a quote I love that I remind myself of every single day: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” Repeat that to yourself several times until the meaning becomes entrenched in your brain. 

Most of us don’t like risk. We play our lives safe and sound, never stepping out on a limb to reach for the fruit on the very end. We stay ensconced in our safe homes never really feeling the slap of excitement that comes from doing something slightly scintillating. We see others doing mostly the same, every now and then someone breaks the norm, and we say to ourselves under our breath, “Man, I’m glad that’s not me. I would never be so stupid to attempt something like that. They are really putting themselves at risk.”

For most of us, we’re one financial misstep away from ruin. Paycheck to paycheck is our daily bread, and to even think about stepping out and trying some new venture seems ridiculous. There is no money so how can we attain this dream? So we stop, tuck ourselves deeper into obscurity, and live out our lives nary attempting what was simmering just under our placid surface. We are afraid to take the risk and change our entire lives, because risk involves lots of complex things. It can mean loss, change and going where we haven’t before. It involves being brave and shucking our simple notions to the wind. It means coming out from under the safe haven we’ve created for ourselves. Why in the world, you say, would we want to become risky?

I’ll tell you why, and before I do I will tell you this column is for me – and hopefully what it will be for you as well. As positive and risky as I want to be, I defeat myself before I even attempt things. I have several ideas –ideas that are good – that I talk myself out of before I even begin. Several have been ongoing things that I do. There are several more that have stuck their heads out into the light of day. But with a defeatist attitude I won’t get far. I’m good at preaching to the masses about risk and change, but I’m not good about chucking it all and just going for it. I tell myself there is no money for that and I can’t accomplish it, so why even try? Yet, every morning there it is - that big, fat idea with the word RISK written all over it. I have several friends that have so many irons in the fire, so to speak. They go and go and go and succeed with different ventures. I ask myself, “How do they do it? Do they have time to even breathe?” And maybe, there is the kicker, the one thing I’m scared of. I love my downtime, I love my family and will I have time to see them if I’m going after a risky dream? In truth, I only have one child left at home. He will be gone in a year and then where will I be – sitting at home with my risky business yet to be tried. I’m searching for that sign from God, day after day, to tell me, “Hey Missy, get off your butt and get things done!” Really I’m just fooling myself because God has been giving me signs for years and I’m not listening. How many more does He need to give me? Do I need it lit up in a neon sign in my front yard? Maybe. The truth is some ventures are done by faith not by money. If we have faith and are sure God has got our back then we are disobeying Him by NOT doing it. Wow, here I am sitting at my table disobeying God by not being risky. He has a pretty sharp sense of humor. Will He, though, keep nudging me? Will there come a time when I don’t hear His voice anymore because I’ve chosen not to listen? To be afraid? To not even try? Ecclesiastes 11:4 says this, “He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap.” If we wait for perfect conditions, it will never happen. It’s time to get down to some risky business.