Taking Risks

On vacation my wife, “the boy” and I went on a one hour jet-ski rental (insert your Gilligan’s Island three hour tour joke here). Prior to pushing off, the instructors gave us specific directions about staying inside the buoys and keeping a distance of 100 yards from the other weekend warriors on jet-ski’s. We then hit the accelerator with “the boy” sandwiched between my wife and I on the jet-ski. We ONLY rolled it twice but that’s another post for another day.

What stood out to me was how adamant “the boy” was about the rules. Whenever we got close to someone else, or the buoys, he was very quick to point it out. It was unbelievable to see how much he took those rules of nautical excellence to heart. My wife and I alternated driving so it was during one of her turns that I thought to myself….”this kid’s going to have to learn to take risks“. Don’t get me wrong, I love that he is a rule follower but the rest of the week I wondered if there are times when we have to be willing to take a risk or two. Is life made up of staying in the buoys, the lines, the guides or are there times when we must risk, challenge, test?

I wondered what his life will be like when he is an adult. I wondered what if he was a business man and asked to think “out of the box”. I wondered about his faith and when God calls us to do something totally radical with what He’s given us. Am I wrong in believing that our faith often calls us to risk?

Abraham did.

Moses did.

Peter did.

Jesus did.

Each went against what they knew, what they were supposed to do. God called them to throw caution to the wind. To risk it all for a much higher purpose. I wonder if we’re not called to the same too. We stayed in the buoys and didn’t come within 100 yards of another jet-ski. We obeyed each rule. We also took risks like hitting waves at 50 MPH.

We had the time of our lives too.

2 thoughts on “Taking Risks

  1. Good, thought-provoking post as always. Our oldest daughter is exactly the same way. The positive thing from the experience is that “the boy” was listening to the instructions and took them to heart. That tells me that you and Heather have done a good job of instilling in him the desire and responsibility to listen to those in authority. You have to be pleased about that aspect of the experience.

    However, you are also right in saying that there are definitely times that we need to take risks or may be called by Christ to go against what our friends or the so-called experts think is the right thing to do. My advice is to keep using those teachable moments like you have been doing to show “the boy” (and your daughters) when it is ok to try something different.

    One final note…I think your experience could probably be recounted time and time again about first-born children. As parents when the first bundle of joy arrives, we do everything (and in some instances over-the-top things) to protect and keep him/her away from danger. Without knowing it, we subconsciously brainwash the poor kid into being a rule-follower out of our own insecurities for their safety. When the second child comes around, we throw a lot more caution to the wind because we have realized by that point that they aren’t as fragile as we initially thought. Our second daugther is definitely a much more free-spirited adventurer.

  2. Great points and perspective Dave. Particularly with the first child/second child aspect. Heck, our third child pretty much runs the show around here. I am thrilled with how all three are very much rule followers. My wife deserves a majority of the credit for that as she pours into their lives all day long. Hopefully the lessons of staying within the rules prevents them from a majority of mistakes I made along the way.

    Appreciate the conversation. Great stuff!

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