The Rewards of Risk

Do I dare to live in surrender to God’s will?  Do I take the risk of letting Him direct me in my daily activities, career, marriage, raising the children?  When I read scripture it sounds so inviting to trust God in all my affairs. “Put your trust in Yahweh,  be strong,  let your heart be bold,  put your trust in Yaweh” (Ps.27:14).   However when the rubber meets the road all kinds of thoughts start swimming in my head.  Such as, “What if you fail,” or “How will others react,” or “Am I good enough?”.  Then occasionally, the worst thought comes through,  if I’m willing to listen.  “Really, things are ok, your safe,  it’s not really that bad.” If I’m honest about this last thought, it’s basically staying “Stay in a place of hiding”.  I am resisting God’s invitation to come out and experience life.   Who knows all the the gifts God has in store for me if I’m willing to take the risk of trusting Him.  I recently saw the movie, “Revolutionary Road”, where the theme of the need for safety came at a great cost for the whole family.   The movie did a good job of showing how a couple was willing to examine their lives and say essentially ” I want more out of life.”  They began supporting each other and developing an excitement and hope for their future.  All to true to life,  support from others was very limited.  On the edge of making the big move,  the husband backs down from the risk, which devastates the wife.   Upon reflection of the movie, I loved how the couple was expressive of their emotions, until near the end of the movie.   The couple’s lack of action made me aware how we are responsible to act on our hope.  Yes,  it can come at a cost, but the alternatives can be boredom, anxiety, or fear.   In this movie, the couple never got the opportunity to discover what potential they had and what taking a risk would have provided.   As William James puts it, “Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.”

So what can we do to move out and practice the principle of surrender in  our lives?  To start accept where you are now–if you are you stuck in life,  or feeling a sense for change, or facing a crises.  Resist the temptation to blame someone else.   Admit your under stress and that’s ok.   If your having doubts,  fears  and numerous other emotions, this is to be expected;  express them to someone who cares.  What’s important is knowing you are actually creating freedom for yourself when you share the emotions.  Surprisingly, after expressing feelings, we hear better from our own intuition, others and God.  Next let yourself think about “risk”.  I love the quote by Maryanne Radmacher, “It is the tremble of risk which shakes the spirit, confirms courage and reinstates daring!”  Take the risk of believing that in fact God is there for you.  Base your trust on the fact the God is faithful.  “We know and rely on the love God has for us.” (I John 4:16).   As Brennan Manning points out in his book, “Ruthless Trust”,  its a hard task to make yourself trust more;  rather he says focus how how faithful God is.   Review how God has fulfilled his promises, talk with others in the faith and ask about how God has been faithful in their lives.   What can develop is a certainty about God working in your life.   Thomas Merton wrote in his Asian Journal that as trust increases,  it leads to “a certitude which is very, very deep because it is not our own personal certitude, it is the certitude of God himself in us”.  You have been given the gift of life–what risk is awaiting you?

Randy Krieger