Cast your bread upon the waters,
for after many days you will find it again.
Give portions to seven, yes to eight,
for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain upon the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there will it lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
“I’m not really afraid of failure anymore.”
I spoke these words to a friend of mine while talking about our upcoming radio show.
The broadcast has the potential to bless thousands of young Filipinos. It also has the potential to be a miserable failure–a complete waste of time, money and effort (not to mention a very public embarrassment).
There’s no way to know what will happen. We won’t know for sure until we try.
I never would have attempted something like this five or ten years ago. What has changed? Well, slowly but surely, I’m learning:
I’m learning that anything worthwhile involves some level of risk.
I’m learning that great men and women took great risks to accomplish great things.
I’m learning that fear of failure is an emotional black hole—a deceitful trap to be avoided at all costs.
I’m learning that the regret of a missed opportunity lingers much longer than the temporary disappointment of failure.
Solomon made a wise observation: if you try too hard to avoid risks, you’ll probably never do anything (I call this the “paralysis of analysis”).
This passage is not instructing us to live recklessly—God does not honor foolish choices. Jesus quickly rebuked Satan when he suggested a nosedive from the temple roof (Matthew 4:5-7).
Solomon was instead speaking of calculated risks and probabilities:
Plant a seed, and some of them will produce crops.
Invest, and some of it will come back to you.
Stare at the clouds, and . . . well . . . you may notice some funny shapes, but don’t expect much else.
Remember this: there are no risks in heaven—it is a place of complete safety, security, and joy. This life is only chance we get to take risks and exercise our faith.
I’m learning my lesson—but what about you?
Is fear of failure keeping you from trying new things?
Are you too afraid to take risks?
Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.
-William Carey (father of the modern missionary movement)
Note: This post is a few years old now so I should probably let you know how things turned out. The radio show was not a failure. Over time it was played in at least three different cities on Christian radio stations.
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