“Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.”
– Chinese proverb
“You are crazy!” and “I’d never do THAT,” have been comments that I’ve received over the last few weeks as I’ve shared with people about an upcoming trip I’m taking with my family. I’ve also heard, “That is amazing!” and “I’d love to do something similar!”
A little background: I am going with my children to a language school in very rural Costa Rica where we will stay with a host-family without my husband (for a week). He will then fly down and join us, and we’ll spend some time traveling through the rain forests — ziplining through canopies, and dodging coral snakes as we hike to waterfalls and in proximity of an active volcano.
It definitely falls under the adventure category. The main reason we’re going is to see the host-family that I stayed with for a year 17 years ago (I taught in the schools). I can hardly wait to see these people from a tiny mountain town who were my adopted family that year and who continue to be near and dear to my heart. The comments that I’ve received have me thinking about the concept of RISK.
When I was in high school, I gave a speech that talked about how risk is necessary ingredient in the recipe of life. The speech concluded that without it, there isn’t growth. If we always know the outcome, that doesn’t require courage.
Does what I said at 18 prove itself as I look back on my past 20+ years?
In my own experience, yes it has. The greatest times of growth for me have been born out of stepping beyond my comfort zone.
Risk comes in many forms: trying something new, reaching out to someone we don’t know, making a decision where the outcome is uncertain — in essence, “going for it,” in one way or another. It involves opening ourselves up to new elements of life, especially if we aren’t comfortable in those spaces.
Abraham risked the life of his long-awaited son; Moses gave up his royal title to lead the Israelites out of Egypt; David walked into battle with a giant; Esther risked her life to save the Jews; Ruth went to a foreign land to remain loyal to her mother-in-law; the Disciples left their jobs and families to follow this man Jesus…..
In the Christian world, we call these people “faithful.” They were willing to go beyond themselves for a greater good.
And guess what? In leaping off of their metaphorical cliffs, they found their wings. And so can you. So can I.
So…. am I nervous for my trip? Yes. Is it a little scary bringing my four children to a foreign country by myself? Yes. Have I woken up in the middle of the night thinking about it? You betcha.
It is a risk, but I’m trusting that we’ll all grow some new wings while we’re there. My kids will have their view of the world expanded, their minds and hearts will be engaged, and God will become bigger to them.
How do I know this? Because it happened to me 17 years ago when I walked into a tiny, open air house in Costa Rica, eyes wide and prayers whispered.
I guess that’s how we can go into any situation of risk, eyes wide – with expectancy of what God will do, and prayers whispered – knowing He will be in each moment, giving us exactly what we need.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to HIM be the glory in the church (us!) and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen!
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