Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Risk by Richard Showalter


I read this yesterday and LOVED it. It is written by Richard Showalter, the President of Easter Mennonite Missions. He is a wonderful man and this in an awesome article about risk.
Written by Richard Showalter
"There are many ways to fail. The most successful way to fail is to take no chances!”

So spoke Gary Blosser, EMM board member, in a devotional meditation at the November 2010 meeting of EMM’s Representative Council. It was a remarkably inspiring devotional, and that word about failure wouldn’t go away.

Someone recently did a poll of people in their nineties with the well-worn question, “If you had your life to live over again, what would you do differently?”

The question was predictable, but not the answers. The most frequent response of the nonagenarians: “I’d take more risks.”

That’s not the answer I would have expected. Maybe from a group of twenty-somethings, but not from these. I somehow thought that one might engage in risk until about age sixty-five, then ratchet back, keep everything more secure.

But my heart leaped. Yes! Here is a key to the liberation of the human spirit.

The very skylines of our great cities are testimony to our general lack of willingness to risk. Many of the highest buildings are built with insurance capital, a hedge against risk. If there is one word that characterizes our culture, it is “security.” It is a mark of wisdom, we think, to make sure our lives, our properties, and our loved ones are secure.

Of course, there’s something to be said for security. Yet – our hearts cry out even more deeply for the risk which accompanies commitment to a cause worth dying for. We honor with passion the Martin Luther King who proclaimed with the greatest rhetoric of twentieth century America, “I have a dream.” It was a dream worth dying for. And he did.

The church is like that, the real church of Jesus Christ. At its core is surrender to the greatest cause in the universe, the kingdom of God. With that surrender dies the fear of death itself. With it comes the joyful willingness to risk boldly for the sake of the One who risked it all for us, simultaneously granting the greatest security ever known, eternal life.

That’s why we go in mission. This risk is sometimes mocked as triumphalism, imperialism, or pure foolishness. But pay no attention to the detractors. Will we fail? Yes, we will fail.

But will we succeed? A thousand times, yes. We will succeed because the greatest cause is worth the greatest risk – again and again and again.

Gary Blosser has it right. So do the ninety-year-olds.

Actual post is here: http://emm.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=722%3Arisk&catid=...

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