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Too short to play it safe

Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 9:52 a.m. CST

Today, I want to encourage you to take a risk. In this culture? Yep. In this economy? Sure. Why would I want to do such a crazy thing? Because you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Let me tell you about a young lady I recently met. She was getting ready to begin her final year of college in preparation for the classroom. She had studied and prepared and was headed toward her goal of being a teacher. But something just didn’t feel right.

Oh, she had done well in her college course work. She had worked hard in preparation for her student teaching assignment. She had listened to and received the encouragement of family and friends who told her that she was on the right track and that she would make a great teacher. But something didn’t settle in her heart.

She had spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in preparation. All that was left was two semesters; one in student teaching, the other in the classroom. She would then graduate and be on her way to seeking a teaching position. But, she just couldn’t shake that uneasiness inside her heart.

She had to do something.

So, she took a risk. She made a decision that she would no longer pursue the goal that she had originally set out on. Instead, she made some changes in her focus, in her goals and in her classes. Today, she’s on a different course and is more excited and fulfilled than she’s been for a long, long time. She reached for the brass ring of her dream and she’s pursuing it 110 percent. She has peace in her heart and a whole new direction and outlook on life. She’s excited! And I’m proud of her!

But not everyone else is excited with her. No, that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? She faced criticism from all sides. Arguments were presented to her as to why her decision was foolish. She was repeatedly challenged to reconsider her decision. Even my first inclination was, “Wow! That takes guts!” She stood her ground.

She took a risk.

What is it that you would like to do that would require you to take a risk? Look into another career? Ask out that girl you’ve had your eye on for quite some time, but have been hesitant to ask? Go back to school and finish that degree you’ve always wanted? What risk do you need to take?

See, friends, life is too short to play everything safe. If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you always got. Poor English, but true.

I love this quote, “Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly.”

What risk do you need to take? If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you attempt? Here’s what God said to Joshua in the Old Testament:

“Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

I challenge you to take a risk. You could fail, but you might succeed. Listen to what God is whispering in your heart......and then go for it!

I leave you with The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto, written by Mark Batterson.

Lion Chaser’s Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future.

Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.

Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze a new trail. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks.

Don’t try to be who you’re not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away. Chase the lion!

(From Mark Batterson’s book “In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day”)

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