Why are we so afraid to take risks? Are we afraid of making a mistake? Afraid of pain? Disappointment? Change? Probably yes to all the above. Change, even for the positive, is unknown, and we tend to avoid the unknown. We don’t understand the unknown, feel we can’t control the unknown, so we tend to stick with what we know; even if what we know hurts us. I think that most of us, myself included, have a sense that we are somehow in control of our life and the world around us. But the reality is that we are aren’t in control of much! But, our sense that we are keeps us from making major changes which will take us into the unknown. We prefer to stay where we are, in what we know, in what we think we have control of.
A line in a poem (author unknown) recently sent to me by a friend reads “All ships are safe at the harbor but that’s not what ships are built for…”. Ships are meant to sail. Yet putting out to sea is always a journey into the unknown. For anyone who has ever been out to sea you understand that there is not much which is under our control. When we are at sea we are at the mercy of nature. I’m not intending that statement to be negative, just a fact. Yet, if people never ventured out to sea think of how different our world and lives would be. Much of the world would still be unknown, and trade would be difficult. People took the risk, still do today, and our lives are better for it.
This quote by author Laine Parsons is an inspiration to me:
Don’t ever try to understand everything — some things will just never make sense. Don’t ever be reluctant to show your feelings — when you’re happy, give into it! When you’re not, live with it. Don’t ever be afraid to try to make things better — you might be surprised at the results. Don’t ever take the weight of the world on your shoulders. Don’t ever feel threatened by the future — take life one day at a time. Don’t ever feel guilty about the past — what’s done is done. Learn from any mistakes you might have made. Don’t ever feel that you are alone … there is always somebody there for you to reach out to. Don’t ever forget that you can achieve so many of the things you can imagine — imagine that! It’s not as hard as it seems. Don’t ever stop loving; don’t ever stop believing; don’t ever stop dreaming your dreams.
Sometime today, take a moment to quietly reflect on life. What changes need to be made? What is stopping you from making the changes? Now, imagine your changed life. How does it feel? Odds are that what is stopping you from making the change is the unknown of that period of time between your current life and your changed life. Not the change itself.
Sail your ship today! Take the risk; do what is right for you, even if it is different and unknown. Trust in those close to you, and trust in the faith of your God, that your ship (your life) will sail safely into the unknown.