For the past two weeks, I have been re-reading Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. This morning I began chapter 5 which is titled Risk Is Right. For some reason the content of this chapter did not resonate with me the first time I read through it. It could be because the first time I read through it, I was not at a crossroads in my life. However that is not the case this time.
I am often reminded of the poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
The future is unknown and quite frightful at times. Looking down the paths, as far as we can, only reveals that we cannot see the end of the path, which leads to uncertainty. Piper asks the question “Why is there risk?” To which he responds “Because there is ignorance.”
Ignorance is something that I know well. The very definition of the word means “not knowing”. This term could sum up the majority of how my life has been until three years ago. Three years ago I was given clear instruction and information about which “path” to choose. However I was only permitted to see a short distance down that path.
As I have been faithful to walk down the path God has chosen for me I am coming upon a bend in the path that has lead to another fork. I have made a decision as to which path I will follow and with this decision ,as with so many other decisions, risk is involved.
Some people live for the sake of risk taking, and I am not one of them. I enjoy safety and security, as well as the known. But have we been called to safety and security, or has God called us to take a risk on Him? There are so many examples in the Bible of faithful men and women who have taken risks for the sake of His calling and there really is no difference for us today.
Piper states in his book that ” a successful risk would bring great benefit to many people, and its failure would bring harm only to yourself.”Risk is a normal occurrence for each of us. We take it everyday as we get behind the wheel of our cars. Be encouraged that we do not know the future, but our Father in heaven does and He has blessed us with the opportunity to take a risk for Him.
Robert frost sums it up well:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.