Risky Business

Risk, it’s more than just a board game.

As a kid I hated the game of Risk. I’ve never liked board games and I am not a strategic thinker, so this game was always a bit intimidating to me.

Maybe I didn’t like it because it required a lot of thought and little conversation.

Perhaps it is because the game involved minimizing risk in order to dominate and I lack a competitive spirit or maybe it’s because I thought it was a boy’s game.

What I realize now is that this game is a metaphor for life.

Call me a control freak, but generally speaking I do not like Risks…I like guarantees and assurances.
If you do _______then ________ will happen.

Unfortunately life, love and relationships do not come with guarantees.

Life requires taking risks, being willing to step out trusting and believing that God has our best interests at heart.

My friend Tracee shared her thoughts and experiences about what happens when fear and faith collide on her blog this week. In her blog she makes this statement, “Our lives are meant to look and sound different after God has entered in.”

I so want that to be true of me. I want for others to see there is something uniquely different about me and that it is the reflection of Jesus living, ruling and reigning in me.

So, I ask the question…does your life (and my life) look any different since God has entered in?

I believe that in order to fully experience the fullness of life in Christ we must be willing to risk.

Typically when I think about risks I conjure up images of base jumpers, extreme athletes and the crew from Whale Wars.

What does it mean to risk in our faith?

When I first began my journey with Christ, I was terrified that God was going to ask me to be a missionary in Africa. I know it is funny now, but back then in 1984 I was seriously afraid.

I don’t know where the idea came from. I was a junior in high school and I didn’t even know any missionaries, but I did know that in order to follow God I was going to have to relinquish control and trust Him with my future.

Fast forward 25 years, I still have not been called to serve in Africa… but I was called to love and serve Junior high and high school students through Young Life, and for many this would be way scarier than Africa!

What does risk look like?

Risk might mean a career change, beginning a new ministry or a new relationship.

It might mean committing to tithe a specific dollar amount every month or risking to tell the truth in a situation where you have been withholding your thoughts, opinions or feelings.

Risk looks different for everyone, but one thing is universal…risking is scary.

Our God knows something about risk. He created us and gave us free will. This means that God assumed the risk for us, so that we could reap the reward.

God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

What are you willing to risk to demonstrate your love to God?

Grace & Peace ~ Karen


14 thoughts on “Risky Business

  1. Elizabeth M Thompson says:

    This post hit the target this morning. I am about to take a big risk and needed the encouragement. I seldom fear failure and willingly take risks when failure could result. But if the risk involves possible rejection, I hide from it like a scared rabbit. Oh, to be a bolder bunny!

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Wow…that is exciting! I will pray that as you step out and take the risk that the presence of God will be unmistakable to you! Fear NOT, for He is with You!  If you are willing – would you let me know how it goes? 

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Thanks Justin…I am really excited for you and the new venture God has for you! I want to hear all about it!  Risk holds reward for those who will leap…glad to see you were willing to jump!

  2. Cindy Holman says:

    This is so good Karen – when I was a kid in the 1960’s we had a single gal from our church in Canada actually go to be a missionary to Africa – and she came back to speak one Sunday – I remember being freaked out too that God would call ME!!!  Oh my.  Then  like you – I am now working with junior high students and other children with music lessons and have taught music theater to junior high students – and we were youth pastors before being senior pastors – nothing more scary – or more rewarding 🙂

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Cindy – It’s funny…what is terrifying to one person is someone else’s sweet spot for ministry! I love the body of Christ…it takes all the parts and it involves risk! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Lauratheartist says:

    Wow, this is a good word for today.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak sometimes.  Truth to myself has been a fight sometimes…I may think and know it, but am I willing to change?

  4. Danie Marie says:

    Good word today, Karen. Risk sometimes seems to be my middle name. I’ve been told before that I’m a risk taker. My husband would rather I not be. And I wish he’d step out of his comfort zone! There are times when I should probably hold back, but my type A personality sometimes gets in the way. I need to risk without being foolish. But ya don’t always know until you step out. Either way, the Lord can make good out of a bad situation. I can be risky and frisky! Blessings ~ Danie

    • KAREN COOK says:

      Thanks Danie Marie…I applaud you for your natural risk taking disposition! If only we could join forces and find the perfect happy medium! Appreciate your feedback!

  5. Marni Arnold says:

    I sincerely believe God cloned our DNA somehow…because you and I are very much alike in that I dislike risk. They are scary waters…why would I intentionally place myself in the midst of a hurricane or tsunami being smack dab in the middle of the ocean with no land to keep my feet solidly formed to the ground on? Logically…it is insane! But either Christ was fully God…or a lunatic, because no one in their right mind would do what He did. So He has to be…and is…God! So why should I even be scared? Oh…this is one area He is working overtime in me about. Thank you for this…it confirmed a lot for me today.

    • KAREN COOK says:

      So often I feel like you and I are emotional twins! I am so thankful that Our God is who He says He is – I take great comfort in that!  I am so thankful for you! 

  6. Barbie says:

    I am not a risk taker myself.  I like to know what it is I am getting to.  Saying “yes” to God, to His will and to His ways, means to take risks.  And it means to trust.  I have to be willing to say yes to the unknown, knowing that God has me by the hand all the way!

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