The Virtue of Risk


In one of John Eldridge’s books, he says that every man has a need for adventure. To paraphrase Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure, or … nothing.”

Helen Keller

Helen Keller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Adventure. It doesn’t have to be a wildlife safari, or going off to Easter Island to solve the mystery of the giant stone heads. Well, that’s a possibility … Perhaps we’d better look in our dictionary to see what adventure might be:

An undertaking of uncertain outcome; a hazardous enterprise; an exciting or unusual experience; a commercial or financial speculation of any kind. Peril; danger; risk. To risk or hazard.

I would add—stop always playing it safe. Really, you and I have all sorts of opportunities for adventure. Let’s consider a few possibilities:

  • Commit to visiting a nursing home/helping at a wildlife preserve once a month;
  • Ride a bicycle into a nearby town for the first time in 25 years;
  • Volunteer to work with handicapped kids at the local middle school;
  • Do something special twice a week with your spouse or significant other;
  • Take a trip to Israel/Chile/Alabama, with a guide/without a guide;
  • Be a hero to a young person not in your immediate family;
  • Settle a long outstanding debt between you and your brother-in-law (or whoever);
  • Record in a notebook at least 50 promises that God gives us from the Bible, and then devote a week on incorporating each of them into your life;
  • Go white water rafting;
  • Turn off the TV for two months; use the time for _______ (you fill the blank);
  • Go on a road trip to _________;
  • Spend half a day/half a week in prayer and study—alone;
  • Go back to where you or your parents grew up; locate where they went to school/church/dances; record your stories and pictures and present to them/your kids;
  • Make friends with someone you wouldn’t ordinarily spend time with;
  • Tell me about a special adventure you engaged in; with your permission, I will record them in a future blog.
Rafting - Jacaré Pepira River, Brotas, São Pau...

Rafting – Jacaré Pepira River, Brotas, São Paulo, Brazil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Considering these, we realize we don’t have to go out and create something out of whole cloth. In fact, it’s better to look in the opportunities that come our way. Too often, we stay in a rut, playing it safe. My pastor’s brother went to Australia after college, where he taught for two years and rode a motorcycle across the continent. Some time, I’ll tell you about some of the adventures our kids (and us, too) have done.

Too often, we simply don’t see a person or a situation as adventuresome, but rather as a bother, costing time, convenience, and maybe money, as well. In doing so, we limit ourselves. We don’t see the potential before us. We will expand our world, and possibly that of someone else.

When will you stop playing it safe all the time? I’m not talking about reckless; I’m talking about being open to the possibilities.

Now, your turn.

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About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in American Exceptionalism, Changing the Rules, Tackling Fears and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Virtue of Risk

  1. A Servant says:

    Enjoyed the “get out and”…
    I have been blessed to volunteer in Nursing/Rest Homes for over 25 years. If you are willing to slow down a bit, and come faithful, a treasure box of endless stories will flow.
    A Servant

  2. Glen K. says:

    Amen, Sam! AMEN! I could not agree with you any more—or less. Adventure is a defining exercise that has to be established by the individual. It’s the frosting that adds additional flavor to the cake!

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks, Glen. Always enjoy hearing from you. We have Men’s Breakfast once/month at our church; our speaker couldn’t make it so we’ll be talking about adventure and risk tomorrow morning. I hope to get some good insights. Laughs, for sure.

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