Risk and Reward

Have you ever stepped out and taken a really big risk? Done something that shakes you up, challenges your pretences, takes a comfortable stability out of your life and replaces it with the unknown? I’d highly recommend that you do.

We like safety and comfort and I think that’s natural for all of us, and usually good. Consistency, schedules, home, regular disciplines – all of these things are just a part of life and really good ways in which we build relationships with the world around us and the God who created and sustains it. There seems to be something about taking a step though, feeling a stirring and calling that is affirmed by prayer and wise counsel of the community around us, that can bring such great joy and reward. It usually involves fear and worry to a measure, sometimes even disappointment and grief, but I think we’re so often we are formed at and by these intersections in our lives.

Doing orientation at Regent College this week has made me think about why it seems to be such a great place. I think part of it is the beauty and excitement of a place full of individuals from around the world who have taken great risks to be here. It’s a place full of calling, unknown, excitement, fear, and a lot of openness to grow, learn and be changed. People like us who have uprooted, left comforts and communities and things they loved in faith with hopes of great reward. God seems to move in these moments outside of our comfort and ‘normals’ and call us to join Him in a deep and profound way as he invites us into his (and therefore our) mission. I’ve only just started this journey, and already I am thankful for the ways that these risks have allowed me to be shaped differently.

Consider where God might be calling you to step out. God calls us and shapes us. Abram was called to the promised land, and risked everything to get there. It didn’t go perfectly, but God chose him to father His people. David left home for Saul’s court. He was almost killed by the jealous king, but he continued to risk and follow God’s calling and was not only a great king of Israel, but a man after God’s own heart. Paul risked everything he was in his travels to spread the gospel. He was eventually killed for it, but his greatest joy was seeing thousands of people come to know Christ and churches planted across the Mediterranean. There’s no formula that says there will reward for our risks, but when we ask for God to lead us and pray for him to help us not prioritize our comfort and have an openness to change, usually God will meet us there. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.