Risk takers make history

Wanted: Banished murderer to face his accusers. Harsh travel conditions. Must have leadership experience and some knowledge of desert snakes. Problem solving skills a plus. Permanent undetermined relocation required.

There is not one advancement in medicine, science, history, art, or any other part of our culture that didn’t start with someone willing to take the risk. Can you imagine Picasso’s art teacher seeing his work for the first time? They tortured Galileo because he thought the world was round. They excommunicated Martin Luther for proclaiming that God wanted a personal relationship with his people. How many people went broke moving to California to pan for gold? How many died trying to settle the west? The men who signed the Declaration of Independence were signing their death warrants if the Colonies had lost the war. How many soldiers have gone to war to prevent tyranny or injustice or corruption?

Were those risks worth it? Ask a Concentration Camp survivor if it would have been better for the Allies to just leave Hitler alone. What if Alexander Graham Bell had feared failing and looking stupid more than he believed in his invention? If the Wright brothers had given up after their first crash? If Henry Ford had abandoned the idea of a personal car because no one really seemed to need it at that point? How many spies have risked their lives to get information that determined the outcome of the battle to the people who would later win it? What difference does it make to us now that those people thought the risk was worth it? One of the most troubling accusations that has been made of our culture is that we are so prideful that we refuse to risk our convenience for anything…and that what separates us from the “Greatest Generation” as Brokaw described them.

The weird thing is we have no clue what is next for us. We expect more of the same and logical transitions, but that is so often not the case. My family visited the World Trade Center on August 17, 2001. We spent one hour in security lines. Guards wanded each of us, went through my purse, and made us walk through a metal detector so they were sure we didn’t have guns or explosives. The people in charge of security for the Towers did everything they could to prevent the attack they expected. The problem was that they weren’t expecting the attack that actually occurred. Satan is not stupid. He is not going to announce his battle plans and give you the chance to get ready before he strikes. He will tempt and attack you in the way you are least expecting, the way you are most vulnerable. What seems so right in our eyes according to our logic and our expectations may be totally unrelated to what is actually in our future. The biggest risk we face is in ignoring the God who knows the future.

What is God calling you to do that you’re afraid to trust him with? What does God want to do through you or in you or for you that you’ve been fighting him on? I believe that if you feel no sense of anticipation or discomfort or fear, you’re not listening to him. God is not about to let you lie dormant. He has big plans for you. Jer 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you’, says the Lord. ‘Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” But none of those can come to pass if you insist on being your own God and rejecting any course of action that has no risk, that you can’t control. You’ll never see God’s power as clearly as when you finally realize you’re not in control at all.

For you A types who need confirmation, that one was Moses 🙂

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