Saturday, 28 January 2012
The small miracle of risk-taking
Every Saturday morning that I am not working, I walk the 4 km. around the lake near me with me with my neighbour. It is a time for us to connect, and we are always amazed at how quickly our time goes. Walking and talking with a friend is the best!
This morning, only a few steps into our walk, it became evident that yesterday's rain/snow mix had frozen overnight, leaving a slippery glaze over the pathways. Before three minutes had passed, I did a face plant on the concrete path. Thankfully, nothing but my pride was hurt, and we continued to slide, stumble and trudge our way around the lake. It took us twice the time, but we made it.
God has been teaching me about taking risks for the last few years. I am probably the least "risky" person alive, and He began to show me how fear was making my world smaller. The decisions I made based on fear were hurting me, my family and my faith. I talked about the awesome power of God, but I wasn't trusting Him in my daily life. That was too risky. Too scary.
Like a loving Father, coaxing a wobbly toddler to take a few steps, He nudged and encouraged me. There are lots of risk takers in the Bible, but the ones I relate to most are the wimpy ones. Moses, who was getting on God's last nerve with his excuses why he can't lead the Isrealites. Gideon, who wanted a sign. Then another sign. Then just one more sign. Barak, who sidled up to the judge, Deborah (pretty much hiding behind her skirts) and said, "I'll go if you'll go." If these guys can take risks, I know there is hope for me.
What I have discovered about risk taking is this--there are no guarantees. God doesn't say, "Take this risk and everything will work out." That's why they call it a risk. I have taken emotional, mental and physical face plants so many times, it's a wonder I still have a nose. However, without risk-taking, life is dull. Safe...but dull.
God is calling me to move away from fear, and to take steps, even when the path is icy, and I might fall. The biggest tragedy is not to have fallen, but to never have taken a step.
Today's small miracle isn't in the walk on icy pathways, but in getting up again after many falls and taking an emotional risk. The miracle is that this wobbly God-follower is holding firmly to the Father's hand and risking again. There is no guarantee of the outcome--only that I am not alone.