Mike Row, of dirty jobs fame, tells a story about filming an episode of Wicked Tuna, when a giant storm rolls in. Mike shouts to the Captain of the ship over the storm, ever have run-ins with OSHA? The Captain shouts back, “It’s my job to make you rich, it’s your job to get home with it.”
Mike’s reaction was to think, “What if I’ve been wrong all this time? What if it’s really safety third?”
I remember in college, learning about ancient Polynesian cultures where a young man would have to build a boat, sail from one tiny dot in the ocean to another, navigate by the stars, fish for his meals, impress a father and bring home a bride before he could be treated as a man in his village. There was a very real chance of death, and that was seen as a healthy thing for a young man.
These days the enemy of society has become “risk.” Not pain, not disaster, not death, just the fear that any of those things could happen. They just shut down everything over a disease with a similar death rate to the flu. I swear they’re going to put pool noodles on all the curbs and require us to wear helmets to walk outside. Sometimes people die as a result of trying not to. (Vaccines adverse reactions.)
I’m not advocating for taking foolish risks, but I believe a life with the core motivation of safety will lose everything worth living for.
Albert Schweitzer said, “the tragedy in life is what dies in a man while he lives.”
You cannot have Love without Risk
When God was forming Adam with His own hands and breathing life into him, He was fully aware that it would cost Him his son. Our example from God the Father, in whose image we’re made, is that you don’t let a potential bad outcome stop you from loving.
You cannot have Faith without Risk
Hebrews 11:1 defines Faith as, “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
You must at least risk being wrong to believe in God. In fact many people who don’t believe in God make faith statements all the time. There’s a prevailing thought out there that the Polar Ice Caps are going to melt and flood the Earth. They can’t prove it, they just believe it.
Faith without works is dead, so if you’re like me you believe we need to take action on our beliefs. What compelled Abraham to leave home for Ur? Or David to take on Goliath? Or Moses to confront the Pharaoh? The scriptures are full of commands to do things that are very dangerous.
You cannot have Freedom without Risk
Consider the scene in Braveheart, when William Wallace is speaking to the men before the Battle of Stirling. He asks, “fight and you may die, run and you’ll live. But dying in your bed someday, would you be willing to give all the days from this day until then for just one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell the British that they may take our lives but they may not take our freedom.”
The moment your enemies determine that you will not put your life on the line to stay free, they will take your freedom. They offer you peace only under condition of slavery.
Everyone seems to have a beef with “Millennials”. We’ve raised a generation intolerant to risk and in doing so, we’ve raised them with a stunted experience of Love, of Faith, and of Freedom.
Second Hand Lions
Clip ( https://youtu.be/y1-KbmIagFw )
Boy: Those stories about Africa are true aren’t they?
HUB: Doesn’t matter.
Boy: It does too. Around my mom all I hear is lies. I don’t know what to believe.
HUB: Dam, if you want to believe in something, then believe in it. Just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean you can’t believe in it.
HUB: There’s a long speech I give to young men, sounds like you need to hear a piece of it. Just a piece. Sometimes…the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most.
- That people are basically good.
- That honor, courage, and virtue mean everything.
- That power and money, money and power, mean nothing.
- That good always triumphs over evil.
And I want you to remember this, that love…true love never dies.
You remember that boy, remember that.
It doesn’t matter if they’re true or not, you see. A man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in.