Risk and Reward

I remember many years ago reading about a survey that had been conducted over a several month period of elderly folks about their lives. It was very intriguing and I believe contained some unquestionably sobering yet equally inspiring information all of us should ponder.

There was an age requirement for the survey participants that they not be younger than 90 years old. In fact, there were a couple more than 100 years old. One can only imagine the many memories each of them must have had.

After a few mundane questions were asked of the participants, they came to the one most intriguing. They were asked, "If you could live your life all over again, what one thing would you do differently?"

As you can imagine, there were lots of answers, some funny, some serious, some sad. Among them were things like, "I'd get married", or "I'd never marry", "I'd have more children", "I wouldn't have kids if you paid me." But one answer in particular became the most answered and, in fact, became the single most impactful of them all. The answer was short but spoken very deliberately by those who gave it. What's that answer?

"I would take more risks."

WOW! Not necessarily groundbreaking until you take a step back and view it from the perspective of a centenarian.

Risk is one of those things we sometimes take for granted. It may be a word that frightens you or one that invigorates. You may be of the majority of folks who would be classified as risk averse, meaning reluctant to take risks. (Most of us are!) Or, like most business owners and entrepreneurs, you might be the type always looking for the next risk and not afraid of taking chances. Not surprisingly, those are the folks who, statistically, are higher income earners throughout life.

While earning money may be a reason for some to take more risks, that was one of several given by the survey participants. Alternative reasons given were for relationships, romance, inventions and a few other items. The striking lesson we can take away regardless of the reason, is that we should learn to, at the very minimum, take a look at risks when they come.

The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that we have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. It's easy and perhaps natural to be fearful to take a risk on something, particularly something with which you may not be familiar. But that response is exactly what the enemy (Satan) wants you to do.

We will probably not know until heaven what relationships we could have had, what songs we could have written, what businesses we could have started, etc., etc., if only we had take more risks!

When Jesus invited His disciple Peter to step out of the boat and walk on the water to Him, Peter didn't hesitate. It was only when he looked down and began to see the waves and feel the wind and allow the fear to permeate that he started to sink.

The rewards of a life full of healthy risks are awaiting!

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