Was It Worth It?–Risk and Faith

September 23, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

I want to apologize on the front end for how intentionally vague the first part of this post is going to be.  It will be frustrating to some of you.  Some may try to pepper me with private messages asking for more details.  You will get none, don’t even try. “Oh, good grief.  Seriously? You intro something intentionally vague with something intentionally vague?  How about you just get on with it?”  My bad.

I drove 8 hrs on Saturday and arrived at my destination late Saturday night.  I was there to be with a friend who was taking a big risk and doing something pretty cool.  I was there to support him.  Went to sleep that night, got up early the next morning.  3.5 hours later, it was over.  It didn’t work out.  We had brunch and I drove 8 hrs back.  I was possibly going to be there 3 days, but it ended up being about 13 hrs, over half of which I was asleep.  I drove 16 hrs total and I was with my friend for about 6 hrs for something that didn’t work out the way we had hoped.

Here is a popular question from the handful of people that knew what I was doing: Was it worth it?  Was it worth the drive and the effort?  Knowing that was coming, I thought about it on the drive back and this blog post formulated in my head.  I believe that “Was it worth it?” is the wrong question.  You can’t evaluate a risk on the back end.  You take a risk, it doesn’t work out, then you ask if it was worth it.  That’s like asking, “If you had known for certain that it wouldn’t work out, would you still have done it?”  That question barely makes sense if it makes sense at all.  Rarely is it advantageous to do something that you know won’t work.

If things had gone well with my friend, some really cool stuff would’ve happened and I would have regretted it so much if I hadn’t been there.  It didn’t work out so well, so was it worth it?  Absolutely it was.  I risked some sleep, time and gas for a potential payoff for me and my friend.  It didn’t work out.  Would I do it again?  Yes.  Why? Because I still wouldn’t know the outcome.  It might work.  Wouldn’t that be great! Wouldn’t that be fun!  Let’s go see!

Way too often we are consumed with the “what if’s” of failure.  “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll look stupid.”  “Better to not even try.”  If I do nothing, then I know I won’t lose.  Guess what? You will also never win.  I want to make a hard shift here before this sounds too much like a chapter out of a book that an ex-football coach wrote or a mediocre self-help book.

Is there something big that you believe God is calling you to try?  Is there a ministry that he wants you to start?  A relationship he wants you to initiate?  A risk he wants you to take?  Is he asking you to demonstrate some faith and take a risk with him?

My guess is that some of you said yes and you’re scared to death, scared you might fail.  You are plagued with what if questions.  If you are doing risk analysis, let me help you.  The greatest risk that you can take with God is to not step out and do something that he is calling you to do.  It’s actually not risky at all.  You can guarantee that you will be restless and disappointed.

Rarely are there guaranteed outcomes, but I will give you a couple.  Life with God is full of opportunities to step out in faith.  Stepping out in faith is always worth it when you do it with God.


4 Responses to “Was It Worth It?–Risk and Faith”
  1. Peter Freund says:

    I don’t know about “Rarely is it advantageous to do something that you know won’t work.”

    I think it may still very advantageous to do things that don’t work out. Many times the means justifies the end. However, I do think it is true that “we rarely do things which we know won’t work out.”

    It sounds picky, but it’s a helpful distinction.

    Your post is a good encouragement for us all!

  2. Carolyn Loften says:

    Feeling challenged once again. Thanks, pastor boy.

  3. Niki B says:

    I love this post. Haven’t read one in a while and it makes me feel like God is confirming to me what my heart is calling me to do. I’ve made every excuse I can not to go on a mission trip next summer. Ready for my heart to be changed. Excellent post!

  4. Jennifer Loftin says:

    Love it! Good encouragement. If God is in it, it is definitely a risk worth taking. Good word and Niki B. praying for you right now.

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