A proper life might just be the one fraught with peril.
Why? Because with that decision to branch out — to grow, to challenge oneself, to take chances — comes the potential for pain. Ever applied for a job? Asked someone out? You aren’t guaranteed good or bad from either, but the risk remains. It can go well, or it can go poorly. If it goes poorly, you are likely saddled with some level of pain.
Turns out, that’s the point. The wonderfully interesting President Theodore Roosevelt said:
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
It’s scary, folks. Life ain’t always pretty. I tend to be rather risk-averse, which I suppose in of itself is not good or bad. But — and this is fairly important — eventually, you have to get off the bench and into the game. There’s much to be gained from those tricky questions above — either way, in fact. A yes is a yes, and a no is a no, but the experience gained from hearing either one pays big dividends.
Take a chance. Fall down or succeed. Get up or continue. Repeat.
And lest we think this is just self-help mantra stuff, do remember that our God orders us to seek.
You want a better job? Seek. You want a spouse? Seek. Ready for a deeper understanding of grace? Seek.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
There is peril in marching out into the dark of the unknown, with hardly a light to be found. But do this for me … go into a pitch-black room and remain there for a few moments. You know what you’ll find?