I’m risk averse.
There, I said it. Out loud. In front of you.
When I was challenged to pray about a word for 2017, I didn’t immediately jump on it. I mean why do I need a word for a year?
Yet, as my coach, Kary Oberbrunner, would say, my RAS (Reticular Activating System) filter was now piqued. It seemed I heard about this concept everywhere. That’s what your RAS filter does—it sifts through the million pieces of information you receive every day, and focuses on something you have identified as important. In my case, a word for the year.
Last week, in desperation coupled with sincere doubt, I prayed about this one word thing. And I heard an answer, rather quickly.
“You’ve got to be kidding me! Risk? I don’t like risk. I play it safe, predictable, secure, focusing on what I know. I’m risk averse,” I argued.
But the next day, there it was again.
“Okay, I understand that life is constantly changing. I get that. But, risk? I’m not a risk taker. You know that,” I reminded the Father.
But there it is. Risk.
(I’d much prefer a word like “calm”, “steady”, “secure”, “fun”, or “joy”.)
When I think of risk, I picture:
- A skier flying down a steep drop in the Colorado backcountry, trying to outrun an avalanche.
- Someone who hears about a new breakthrough company, and invest thousands of dollars. The odds are 50 to 1 they’ll see any of the original money or make any money.
- An astronaut hurtling through the atmosphere, one wrong move from annihilation.
- A sniper dropped behind enemy lines.
Each of these scenarios are extreme but they come with great reward. Jim Rohn said, “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
The Bible even talks about the risk involved in our work:
“When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you! When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax! Such are the risks of life” (Ecclesiastes 10:8 New Living Translation)
As a risk averse person, who has spent the majority of her life making sure things remain calm and secure, I don’t know what to do with this word. Because—I’ve spent my life avoiding it.
“Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.” Charles Stanley
None of us knows what will happen tomorrow. The only thing I know for sure is that God never changes—He is consistent to His Character and totally Trustworthy. Because He is, I can trust Him in all circumstances, with everyone I love, and with my life. There’s my security.
My word for the year.
Frankly, I’m very curious to watch how the Father brings this about in my life. And maybe a little reluctant. I’ll keep you posted.
I’m passing on this challenge to you. Would you take time to pray about a word for 2017? If you aren’t a person who believes in prayer, spend some time thinking about this and see if a word comes to mind.
When you’ve got your word, leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about your word and how you came upon it.
Happy 2017! There will never be another year exactly like it. Let’s make it extraordinary.
Live your legacy today,