Are you listening to those who say, "Take a risk! Step out there! What do you have to lose? The risk takers get all the glory! Live life on the edge! Go for it, you are one of the lucky ones!" Being raised in the Midwest, my answer to those who make these comments is "Hogwash!"
I believe the truth is, that a well lived life is not about going crazy and jumping out of a coconut tree thinking you won't break something. Sure, we need to stretch ourselves and sure, we need to challenge ourselves. We often do need to take a different direction and in doing so, take on some level of uncertainty. Just as an extension ladder has steps, rungs set in such a way to reduce the risk in the climb, there also needs to be a progressive confidence felt as one climbs higher and gets closer to the object in which the ladder is leaning.
Life is not about jumping out of airplanes or trying to climb higher with no regard for risk involved, it is about the progressive realization of a worthy goal; a destiny. It is in discovering the path that leads you to that worthy goal. If the goal is meant for you, it is Divine Intent and the path will appear. It will come to you! It will become so obvious that any deviation from the path will quickly bring on a lack of energy and discomfort. If you have any level of reflective clarity, it will set off a cognitive alarm that warns you the direction you are taking is not the right path. You say, "Thom, I have never heard those warnings." I answer, "The warnings were there, you just missed them because of your determination to go it alone. Your determination has cut your current path rather than the path for which you were created. Your path has been effected by your cognitive reflective skills."
Your soul can become neutral to the spirit of Divine Intent in your life. "You missed the cheese," as was identified by Ken Blanchard and Spenser Johnson in their historically popular book, "Who Moved My Cheese!" From a theological and philosophical foundation, you have lost touch with the reality of you! You were kidnapped by the promise of a material world that convinced you that having more and more things is the progressive realization of your worthy goal. I will say it again, "Hogwash." The truth is, each of us should work with a net like a trapeze artist who is first learning to swing high above the ground. For you and me, the net is our faith and a belief that says there is more to life than what we own and more than mere moments of thrill. There is a destiny each of us is called to fulfill. Our net is engaging the people we meet and the opportunities that come our way. Our net is the relationships developed by how we share our Gift and talents with those in need. Our net is the energy that comes to us in grace to help us break through our greatest fears, and the barriers of our human condition.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for I will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
Take note in how your net raised you up today! How did your net lead you through moments of fear or not just settling for instant gratification? How did your net guide you to the better path of your destiny?