Risk-Taking: Do It Anyway


Do you live safe or do you take risks?  Do you try to keep others in your care safe or do you allow them to take risks?  Life is all about risk.  No, not the kind of risk where you jump out of an airplane without checking your parachute or the kind of risk that has you climbing Mt. Everest or bungee jumping off the Verrazano Bridge.  I’m speaking about everyday risks, risks that only you can determine.  Do you give money to the beggar at the corner?  Do you risk it being misspent?  Do you order the largest burger?  Do you risk your health?  What about your job?  Do take a risk by suggesting actions to those above you?  What about your money?  What type of risks do you take with it?

I define risk as not maintaining a status quo.  The status quo despises risk-taking.  Indeed, it despises any change, something like the sloth which can hang from the same tree for years, moving so slowly that it needs little food. Risk is the food of life. Risk is doing what is right, not disregarding the consequences, but fully aware of the consequences and doing it anyway.  Martina McBride’s song “Anyway” resonates with me.  Do it anyway. 

When the recession hit, I had to cut expenses.  Typically businesses cut employees and advertising. I increased my spending.  What did I cut?  A yearly payment to Microsoft that’s about equal to one month of advertising expenses.  I also cut my usual new technology splurges.  Most businesses hold their money tightly in the face of decreasing income; I borrowed money to invest in foreclosed real estate.  Am I a fool?  To some people.  To others, I am a risk taker, taking a risk to invest some funds in a depressed community where the real estate is located and from which I may never see a profit.  Do it anyway. 

There are a few pieces of wisdom I hold onto.  First, when there’s something I don’t want to do, I remember what a wise counselor told me, “Would it hurt you to do that?”  Then I ask myself, how much would it hurt me?  Maybe it won’t hurt at all.  Especially if it’s just a small risk of time or money.  Do it anyway.  Second, I ask myself if it is sin.  If God has said “no” it’s not a risk; it’s a stupid, foolish action.  Finally, I hold onto the fact that I can’t often know the outcome of my risk-taking decisions.  Am I helping someone who didn’t deserve to be helped?  I can’t make that determination.  Only God can.  Am I wasting my money?  Only God knows.  Not knowing all potential outcomes frees me to make risky decisions.  I do it anyway.

Risk involves trust.  After making a considered decision, you must trust that the decision is correct.  And no, even as a person who follows Jesus and stays closely connected to God through his Spirit, it seems like half the time I have no clue whether I am doing is the right thing or if I have totally messed up.  But I do it anyway.  And that’s what makes me a risk taker.  Have you thought about being a risk taker?  What would it take to move you in that direction?  As you finish reading this, consider what sort of risk you might normally avoid.  Then do it anyway!


And if you’d like to read a book that helped me consider my risk taking, read The Crime of Living Cautiously by Luci Shaw.

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