Play It Safe Or Go For It?

Do you ever fumble tough questions?

I’ve told you before that my a favorite part of speaking is the Q&A sessions. It’s not because I do well.

Frequently someone asks a question that catches me completely by surprise. That happened last weekend at a church in a neighboring community. I told them about RICH’S RIDE and we had some time to talk about dogs and dreams and bike rides. A guy in the back raised his hand.

“I’ve always dreamed of doing a cross-country ride, but I have a traumatic brain injury. Would you advise me to play it safe or go for it?”

Now there’s a seemingly no-win question. If I tell him to play it safe I completely destroy my “live your God-sized dream” message. And you just know that if I tell him to go for it he’s going to crash and it’s going to be my fault.

I don’t know exactly what I said. Becky says it was good, so I won’t second-guess myself too much. But there are a few things I hope I’d say about tackling God-sized dreams.

There’s a difference between trust and recklessness. Some guys might be able to jump on a bike one morning and take off, trusting that they’ll handle whatever happens. A quadriplegic, or a guy with a traumatic brain injury, probably needs a bit more support.

Preparation doesn’t indicate a lack of faith. Scripture is filled with stories in which God prepared people, often for long periods, for specific purposes. Preparation is a good thing, because it allows us to be flexible once we begin the journey.

Some affirmation might be in order. I’m not sure this is universal, but I’ve found that I tend to resist and push away my dreams. It’s taken some gentle prompting and assurance from trusted friends to help me make a commitment.

Make sure it’s YOUR dream.I think it’s sad when someone does a mission trip or a triathlon to impress someone else or because they somehow believe they’ll earn God’s approval.

How can you know if it’s your dream? One test is to examine the preparation. In my case, I love riding and writing. I’d rather ride my bike and write than just about anything else. So training for the ride wasn’t a sacrifice at all—it was mostly just more fun.

You can’t remove all the risk. I wouldn’t trade the exhilaration I felt in this photo for all the safety in the world.

So, on balance, I’d say, “Go for it.”

That’s a partial list. What would you add?
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Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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