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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

5 Reasons to Take a Risk

I received a striking birthday invitation the other day from a friend who's about to celebrate her fifty-first birthday.
She said that she expects her future will be amazing and even dangerous and the theme of her new life is "Fearlessness."
My friend has recently gone through some horrendous life-changes and to make such a fearless statement says a lot about her character development.
It's funny but I've been thinking along those same lines. It's possible that the Holy Spirit is preparing many of us for uncertain and challenging times ahead.
My decision to face the new year with lion-like courage and to take risks does not stem from any crisis.
It's a message without an audible voice, imprinted on my heart by God.

Here are 5 reasons to stop being so comfortable and take a risk:
1. Taking steps of faith is like an adventure-quest novel. The journey presents challenges, even danger, but it's these very difficulties that make the story interesting, that force the main character (you) to transform into something better.

2. Remember Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit? Would you have found his story interesting or his character fascinating if he'd refused to accompany Gandalf and the Dwarves on their quest to the Lonely Mountain? Would The Hobbit be memorable if Bilbo had remained safely in his hobbit hole? Are you memorable?

3. Safe is boring. Boring. Do you ever want to listen to a boring person?
Safe people risk nothing and gain nothing.

4. People who gain something in life, (could this be you?) whether it be celebrity, an academic or athletic prize, a business success, a special honor, a leadership position, or an important job, have taken a risk.

5. It would be a shame to gain heaven and the presence of Jesus Christ and then look back over my (or your) short seventy or so years on earth with regret that I'd never ventured a toe beyond the boundary between "safe" and "maybe not safe, but, Wow!"

It's really a faith-issue, don't you think? How much do you really believe that "safe" is not what Jesus calls us to be?

I'm going to take risks this year. Not silly risks, or foolhardy risks. I'm going to respond to those little holy nudges from Jesus.

"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going." (Heb. 11:8)


  1. You're right, Dena. It's so easy to play it safe, but we grow when we challenge ourselves and take risks. Thanks for reminding me of that very important truth.

  2. I'm supposed to go to a reunion in Virginia this October. Just getting on an plane feels brave to me. I've been terrified of flying for the past fifteen years or so. (Since I had kids, for some reason.)
    But I too have been feeling compelled to stare fear in the face. To take more risks. To live a bold and adventurous life.

  3. Thanks, Amanda. Just stepping into a new role at church of teaching or leading a discussion or phoning people or praying in public is very scary for some people. I hope to encourage those who are standing on the sidelines. Just do it!

  4. Bravo, Kay. I admire your spirit. . . and how you are always trying new things as a writer. You inspire me.

  5. Oh my, Dena. You are so right. Playing it safe is boring, but oh so easy to do. I want to venture out. I want to be lion, not a mouse. I know Jesus has my back and really, I wish He'd just give me swift swat on the rear, just enough to bump me out of the nest of comfort.

    My prayer words this year include boldness and courage. And the stamina to see it through.

    Thanks, Dena!

  6. Wow! Audra, those are all the things I'm praying for, too: boldness and sometimes a swift swat from Father to get me going!

  7. I look forward each week to read your words. Today's were especially significant for me. As I consider retirement, it is a bold and somewhat scary decision to make. I know that the Lord is preparing me for this move and that He will make the time evident for me to see. Retiring is "taking a risk!"

  8. Kudos, Dena. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement to step out in faith. Nothing ventured -- nothing gained.

  9. Sharon, You're turning a corner. What's around the bend? I'll bet God has a magnificent adventure mapped out for you. It's a shame, in this culture, that we don't realize how valuable are the offerings of retired people: they've accumulated wonderful experience, wisdom, skills. But God knows and now you've got the opportunity to put all your gifts to great use!