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Story Archives: Maybe its time to consider the risk you are willing to take
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|Maybe its time to consider the risk you are willing to take|
"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh" said Piglet, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?" "What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?" "I wonder what's going to happen exciting today." said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully and said, "It's the same thing."
Certainly, an exciting adventure means something different to each of us. We all have had our "you wouldn't believe me if I told you" moments. We have faced devastation and experienced triumphs. We quickly learn that this journey called life can instantly move us into an adventure we were not expecting. Of course, I also realize that what I find adventurous or exciting, you may find humdrum or boring — such as the conversation between Piglet and Winnie the Pooh.
I suppose we all have our levels of boring versus adventure, just as we all have our levels of good versus evil, love versus hate, hope versus despair, and acceptance versus rejection. It is truly amazing how one life can hold so many adversative events and emotions. For some of us, this day will be one of the best days we've had in a long time.
For some of us, it will be the most devastating. For most of us, it will simply be another day. Ironically, our life will consist of a string of days similar to today — maybe not as excited or hopefully not as devastating.
As I ponder the word adventure I can't help but think of how its meaning has changed in my own life. It once meant climbing to the top of the playground's ladder. I can still remember looking down. My sense of accomplishment quickly turned to fear. I was so thankful to feel the grass beneath my feet I could have kissed the ground. However, at such a young age I had not yet learned that people actually do that.
The word adventure basically means "bold undertaking" or "taking risk." For some of us that is pictured by hunting wild beast in the jungles of Africa, or sky diving, or swimming with the sharks. For some of us it's realizing we left our cell phone at home.
For quite some time my family has noticed a nice couple across the street. They spend a lot of time outside and they seemed to be nice folks. Over time we began to acknowledge one another by a nod and a wave. We soon progressed to a verbal "Good Morning."
We began to wonder if we should actually walk across the street and introduce ourselves. You would think in my line of work, which promotes Christian hospitality, a casual introduction would have been accomplished long ago. But being good church folk, we did the only logical thing. We formed a committee to discuss the possibility and decided we should pray about it a while longer before jumping into something so risky. Besides, the current relationship seemed to be a comfortable one for everyone involved.
Over time we devised a plan of action which we bravely executed. I braced myself for rejection and humiliation. To my amazement, they were quite welcoming. As a matter of fact, we not only met the couple across the street, we made new friends — friends who look out for us — friends who are gracious and uplifting.
If you're disappointed because your life lacks excitement and adventure, maybe it's time to consider the risk you are willing to take. There is a verse in the Bible that reads, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." So go ahead; turn the cell phone off during dinner. Renew your library card. If you're really courageous, sit in someone else's pew next Sunday at church. On second thought, you might be safer swimming with the sharks.
Jo Ann Cooper is a United Methodist pastor of the LA Conference.