Taking Risks

When I worked at Camp Calumet, I would host  youth weekends.  About 5-6 small youth groups would come to the camp to participate in Calumet run youth weekend.  I, as the retreat host would use Friday night and Saturday morning as an opportunity for group building….I would plan activities that enabled the kids to feel comfortable with one another, to strengthen their current relationships in their groups and establish new relationships with the other churches.

On Saturday morning I would take a big piece of chalk and draw a line on the floor.  I challenged the kids to cross that line and take a risk.  I would say “you are one of 80 teenagers at this retreat, you might know 10 others, I challenge you this morning to take a risk, cross this line and meet someone you don’t know.”  You know what?  Almost everyone of the kids did cross the line, they took a risk and it worked out well for them.

So my question for you today is…..Do you consider yourself a risk-taker?

In one of his books, Leo Buscaglia wrote that,”To laugh is to risk appearing a fool, to weep is to risk appearing too sentimental, to reach out for another is to risk involvement, and to expose feelings is to risk exposing one’s true self.  To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk their loss, to love is to risk not being loved in return. To live is to risk dying, to hope is to risk despair, to try is to risk failure.  But all risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”

So much in our life is based on risk.  I know that I have opted out of certain opportunities in my life because I did not want to take the risk of hurt, failure, embarrassment or despair.  But I have also taken risks and I have been successful, happy and satisfied.

I also agree with Leo Buscaglia.  If, out of our fears, we refuse to risk, we also forfeit our freedom because only a person who risks is truly free. And, only a person who risks can grow, because all personal growth involves risk.

Where in your personal life are you drawing lines?  How can you cross them and take a risk?

This week, take a risk…..see what happens……

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