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K(no)w Risk, K(no)w Reward

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.  If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.
Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.
Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.
[Ecclesiastes 11: 4-6, NLT]

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Think of every great hero in the storybooks. There are a couple of key pieces that create the formula for a great tale, but just one seems to be the first major step in the story…

Frodo, the little cowardly hobbit carries a ring to Mount Doom in the face of a legion of Orcs, days’ worth of walking, doubts, a huge spider—ew, and a creepy, emaciated, little guy. But against all odds, Frodo goes and saves the day.**

Luke Skywalker carries a rebellion on his back to help restore balance to the galaxy. Through this, he faces an evil empire, daddy issues, the awful character writing of Jar-Jar Binks, and some questionable romances. Yet at the end of the day, the Death Star blows up (twice), the Ewoks dance, and balance is restored.

How about Marlin who loses his son Nemo and sets off in the big, blue ocean to find him? He gets caught up in a field of jelly fish, a group of sharks, and he gets eaten by a whale. In the end he is reunited with his son and all is well.

These characters knew risk. To be fair, we cannot expect everything in our life to have a happy ending, but one truth that cannot be denied is that when we live with no risk, we can expect no reward. Imagine if any of these characters chose to do nothing when face with risk? The story would end there. Safe, yes, but with nothing gained. It’s not a story worth hearing or a tale worth telling.

I think about my life and when I am faced with risk--when I am asked, “Mike, will you?” At that moment I have two choices: I can stay comfortable where I am, and maybe lose nothing…but also gain nothing. Or I can say, “Yes, I will risk” and be set out on a great adventure—full of successes, failure, lessons, and experience.

I am convinced that if today you find yourself comfortable, then you are probably not in the right place. Comfort is never a climate for growth, change, or advancement. Comfort keeps us “here”, when we are called to go “there”.

I’ve too often seen myself and people close to me looking for the red lights that God could be giving them that they miss out on the green lights right in front of them. In no way, should we be reckless with our choices, but we should also know that our God is in control. He is adventurous. He is a God of action.

Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.  If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”

Maybe today for you that risk is a life change. Maybe it is a conversation you’ve been needing to have with a close friend. Maybe it is a mindset change. Whatever it is, I urge you to prayerfully take a chance. Risk something rather than do nothing. If you know risk, you may just know reward.

**Official Blog Mentions of Lord of the Rings: 2.