Noah was a man willing to take risks. Have you ever put yourself in His shoes? Imagine spending 120 years working on a huge boat for a flood that was supposedly on its way. It would be one thing to work on something in secret, but with a boat that big – that’s tough to hide! Not to mention working on something for 120 years – that’s a long time!
No doubt those around Noah thought he was one foolish guy. Noah risked the ridicule of those around him and followed God’s instructions for the ark to a T. Investing years and years into building the ark – that too was risky! Imagine what he could have accomplished in that time.
What made the difference for Noah and enabled him to keep on going despite the risks? His relationship with God that was cultivated as they time spent walking together. (Genesis 6:9) Noah trusted God and he was diligent with the job God gave him to do: build an ark.
There’s something God has in mind for you as well. Chances are, it will involve risk!
Outside of a small number of extreme sport enthusiasts, most of us prefer safety over risk! We like to know what the outcome will be before we jump in and pursue something.
And sometimes, the biggest risk of all is not doing anything!
What if Noah had caved to the ridicule? What if he had gotten weary along the way?
I confess I prefer to play it safe. I bet you do too! The truth is that you and I are taking risks right now. There’s even a good chance the risks you and I are engaging in are riskier than the risks we are wrestling with.
Are you engaging in any of these risky behaviors?
- Not exercising
- Eating unhealthy food or consuming unhealthy drinks
- Avoiding doctor or dentist visits
- Refusing to forgive
- Making hasty decisions
- Not getting enough sleep
- Ignoring self-care
- Not carving out time to spend with God
- Negative thoughts/beliefs
- Lack of hobbies
- Avoiding working through issues
This is not an exhaustive list. There are many risky ways to do life! We all have our favorites, which show that we are not 100% adverse to risk! In fact, we all have risks we are willing to take and risks were not!
If you are going to fully walk in what God’s called you to do, like Noah did, I guarantee it will involve taking risks! The good news is that there are some motivating reasons to stop doing the safety dance, step out of your comfort zone, and take some risks! Here are some of those reasons:
- Allows you to conquer your fears
- Reduces your regrets
- Provides the opportunity for you to use your talents, interests, and abilities
- Is a chance to be proactive
- Opens you up to new ideas, and experiences
- Encourages growth
- Allows you to discover new things about yourself
- Develops new skills and talents
- Increases confidence
- Creates change
- Causes your doubts to dwindle
- Expands your potential
- Lets you discover what you are made of
- Enables you to break through your self-imposed limits
- Challenges you to be more creative
- Makes you feel more alive
- Turns your ordinary life into an “extraordinary life”
- Cultivates good habits – setting goals and following through
- Makes realizing your goals/dreams possible
- Brings interesting people into your life
Taking on risk spontaneously – that’s foolish! Noah proceeded to build the ark after receiving specific instructions from God. When it comes to taking risk here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Be honest about your capacity for risk
You don’t begin weight lifting by doing bicep curls with 50 pound weights. You have to start with lighter weights and as your muscle develops, then you are able to lift heavier weights. The same is true with risk. Start with smaller risks and as you develop your risk muscle, you will increase your capacity for greater risks.
2. Make sure it lines up
If a risk doesn’t line up with your values, priorities, passion, and purpose, it is not worth the risk. It is just that simple.
3. Go in with your eyes wide open
The truth is I want you to take more risks in your life. That doesn’t mean that every risk is worth taking! Carefully consider the options. Are there ways to minimize your risk? What less risky options you can pursue? Is the timing right? If everything goes haywire – what’s the worst thing that can happen? And perhaps most important: what’s the cost of not taking this risk?
4. Create a plan
Foolish risk is jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, and it is just as foolish pursing a risk without a plan. That doesn’t mean the plan can’t change along the way – it would be silly to not adjust your plan as you learn and grow.
5. Don’t go it alone
Without those walks with God, Noah might have given up along the way. That’s why you need to make connecting with God a priority as well.
The more support the better! Who in your circle of family and friends can be a part of your network? People who will encourage you and hold you accountable?
Why not work with a coach who can help you through the many changes and challenges that pursuing a risk will bring?
6. Expect challenges
Sometimes the challenges are past experiences that have a way of coloring today. Sometimes they are circumstances we never anticipated. Either way, there will be challenges! Don’t make excuses. Don’t let it stop you! Instead, zero in on what the risk to giving up would be.
What’s one risk you’re willing to take? That thing that God has been nudging you to do that you have been ignoring, avoiding, or pretending you didn’t hear?