The main problem I confronted in writing One Thousand Risks was the fear of man; otherwise known as the people-pleasing plague. Fear of man is where I’ve struggled most, and fighting against it has re-wired my life into all kinds of messy extravagance.
My original goal was to see my Jesus-journey challenged. Possibly even inspiring you in the process? Icing on the cake. Jesus left ninety-nine sheep in relative safety to pursue one which was lost. My hope was, and still is, growth in His footsteps.
Along the way, I discovered four reasons why risk was the missing ingredient in my pursuit of spiritual significance.
Reason # 1. Following Jesus has always required risk.
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29, NLT).
The action to risk always follows a conviction from faith.
Think of the greatest risk you’ve ever taken in life. Where were you? What was it? And would you have taken that risk without confidence––even if minimally present? Would I have asked Beth to marry me had I known she loved someone else? Would I have left my music industry job just to experiment with homelessness?
Reason # 2. Fighting fear is the secret passageway to an awkward, awesome life with Jesus.
One thousand risks took me 740 days, averaging around one risk a day––except when I took 40 risks on my 40th birthday for the sheer fun of only turning 40 once. I encountered the heart of God one person after the next, making notes on my phone after the risk to help me keep track of each experience. Along the way, I discerned markedly more about myself, God, and others.
I witnessed more miracles in two years than in all my previous 38 years combined.
Reason # 3. The temporary downside to risk isn’t very grisly in comparison to glory, forever.
Despite the negative connotations that come with risk, I promise you a world will open that is so full and so rich––a well worth treasuring––like living water to those dying of thirst.
Francis Chan, a radical risk-taker who I respect immensely, says it like this:
“I’m not asking you to do something you’re going to hate. Yeah, there will be times when it’s rough and whatever else. But, I’m asking you to do something where at the end of your life, you’ll have a fulfillment that says, ‘I am stoked for all eternity because of what I did on that little planet.’”
Reason # 4. It’s hard to live righteous (or like a lion) apart from risk.
I’m inviting you to live courageously.
“The wicked flee when no one pursues but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1).
Following Christ is the most dangerous decision you have––or will––ever make. If no one told you before you began following Jesus this jungle was wild, I am deeply sorry. You must feel caught entirely off guard already by all my outlandish suggestions.
What could your life with Jesus and neighbors look like if you began developing a super-powered life of risk?