If you’ve ever been around a toddler, you likely understand the term “risk-taker”. Dive off the couch head-first? Sure! Tip off the couch backwards? Let’s do it! Climb a ladder twelve times my size? Monkey bars? Tallest slide on the playground? Yes, yes and more yes!
They do this in part because they don’t understand concepts such as calculated risk and risk management; those aren’t taught in preschool (yet). But toddlers also throw caution to the wind because they don’t see it as throwing caution to the wind; they see it as throwing caution to Mommy and Daddy’s arms. They’re willing to let go of the safety (couch) for the adventure (sense of flying).
My husband and I talked this morning about how until recently, neither one of us completely understood the phrase “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” If you need a tutorial, here’s the short version: it’s better to rely on what you have than to depend on what you hope for.
Thanks to the sermon at our church this morning, I now understand that under most circumstances, relying on what you have rather than depending on what you hope for is the complete opposite of having faith. Not only does Hebrews 11:1 tell us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen,” but think about it logistically: how will you get there if you don’t leave here? How will you grasp what you hope for if you don’t let go of what you have?
I’m not talking about throwing caution to the wind like my toddler does 12,000 times a day. Reckless spending, thoughtless actions, and irresponsible living are unwise and have nothing to do with faith. Instead, what I’m talking about is trusting in The One who made you, being willing to take steps of adventure because you know that God has placed these passions deep in your spirit and you don’t want to ignore them anymore. It’s living a life of action and truth and authenticity and wholeheartedness and not being afraid of being uncomfortable for a little while.
There will always be a reason to play it safe. There will forever be a million reasons to rely on the bird in your hand and reach for nothing more. But what if you took God at his word and trusted that the two birds in the bush will come to pass? That what you hope for is true and what you know your gut (a.k.a. the Holy Spirit) is prompting you to do will bring something wonderful to your life? What if you believed in God’s power and magnificence and let it cover your sense of needing to be safe?
One of our new Family Mantras as of today is Live Uncomfortably. While I’m thankful this sermon came after we bought our new mattress on Black Friday (I know, #firstworldproblems), we are ready to live uncomfortably, as in…
TRUST God’s promises instead of doubt them.
Have COURAGE to change instead of fear of the unknown.
LIVE instead of survive.
Each of those all-capital words brings incredibly discomfort, because they’re not easy and can get a little messy. It’s way easier to play everything safe, make every move a calculated one, manage every risk you possibly can, and just live a comfortable, risk-averse life. But we decided we don’t want that. The vision we have for our family certainly doesn’t fit into the typical and traditional American set of rules, but we know that if we live our lives in the uncomfortable, surrounded by God’s grace and his promises, He will not let us down and the testimony we’ll have on the other side of God’s power will be something truly out of this world.