In the words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, faith is precisely the courage to take a risk in spite of the uncertainty, the doubts, the fears, and pressures. It’s your willingness to believe that “Though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death” you will not fear; you will not fail. As the good book says, “As the good book says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (1)”
I believe we can only enjoy a meaningful life and a rewarding future only to the extent to which we are willing to give our lives away in service to God’s other children in whatever capacity we have the ability to serve and meet the need or solve the problem.
That’s not to say you can’t be happy without doing any of this. You can. But to reach Maslow’s self-actualization stage where you do what you were put on earth to do and become all that you are capable of becoming, you will need to take risks and have faith, knowing that God’s hand will pull you through the desert of hard times. It is faith that pleases our heavenly father, who Himself, has great faith in us, his children.
He waits for us to explore the world and redeem it with our dreams, visions, ideas, enterprises, using our gifts, skills, and talents. In the new testament of the bible, Jesus said, “If you can! Everything is possible for the one who believes (2).” Each action of faith you take inspires the divine orchestration of your benefactor’s footsteps.
Each step of faith causes God to send invitations to people along the way who will be inspired to meet, become interested, and connect with you. They will certainly take an interest in your need, dream, vision, idea, or enterprise. But, you need to step out of your “room” into the unknown, so that you can be seen. After all, no one can see you if you are in doors watching Netflix or playing X-box.
Think of it this way.
In a soccer game, the referee doesn’t pay attention to players sitting on the bench, does he? But, once the player enters the game, the referee becomes aware of that player’s presence and position. He begins to shadow that players move as he does the others.
Only by you stepping into the game of living and taking risks, do you get noticed. In the comforts of your space, God sees you. But when you are “out there” in the danger zone fighting for, defending, or transforming lives, you are seen. And when you do it to sanctify the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God really sees you. That is, extra attention is warranted to ensure your safety, the fulfillment of your divinely inspired work, and your daily bread. It does not mean it won’t be hard.
On the contrary, that’s part of what makes the adventure such a tasty experience—hardship. After all, you fell in love with your favorite movie because your main character overcame hardships. Think about it. In your God experiment, you are the main character and God is the producer and director. He has a plan, but it’s not set in stone. Only you get to write on the stone by going with the plan.
Taking risks and having faith doesn’t mean you will not fail. You most certainly will make some dumb mistakes. In fact, you will fail at least three times. But failure, is your first shot at the real deal.
Failure is the currency with which you purchase understanding from the establishment of experience
Having the courage to venture out into the unknown is what attracts divine providence. We did not start the work, but we are invited to be a part it. This vision of faith spans millennia and it will not end with us. Because the vision is impossible or looks impossible, it promises to be a great adventure. If you don’t do anything that requires faith, then there is no need for it and there is no need for God to show up and show out.
But if this is what you would like to see, you must create space for it by taking on the adventure of risk and the journey of faith to fulfill a divine task, with God’s help, to repair the world by bringing a little light, salt, healing, and redemption to its inhabitants. But faith and risk begin with a word, a message which inspires you to take a risk, to take one good and simple action. Hence, I leave you with a quote from the bible:
“Do not despise inspired messages. Put all things to the test; keep what is good and avoid every kind of evil (3).”