3 Good Reasons to Take the Risky Road


Our world is populated with domesticated grownups who would rather settle for safe, predictable answers instead of wild, unpredictable mystery. Faith has been reduced to a comfortable system of beliefs about God instead of an uncomfortable encounter with God. ~ Michael Yaconelli

Last Sunday during his sermon, our pastor talked about how addicted we are to comfort and how, given the choice, we almost always choose the easier path.

His comments got me thinking about how true that’s been for me most of my life, but also how opposite that path is from the one Jesus’ calls us to.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).

Oh how we love that wide road. Most of us easily commit to being at a church service somewhere on Sunday but we aren’t going to get more involved than that. We tip God regularly when the plate comes by, but if it means I can’t buy those cute flats – well, the church is doing okay without my money.

The narrow gate is one that pinches. It’s tight. You have to squeeze through it – something like that camel and the needle’s eye. Why would I want to put myself through that?

Well…maybe because Jesus asked me to? I mean, he was probably uncomfortable a lot of the time. I think I read where he mentioned not having a memory foam pillow on which to rest his head, or a sleep number bed, or 600 thread count sheets. Ouch! This is getting way too personal.

[Side note: I never know where these things are going when I sit down to write and this one is certainly taking on a life of its own!]

Okay. We get the point. Are we called to live in abject poverty? No, I don’t think so. But we are called to live sacrificially and only by listening to his voice and surrendering our “right” to be comfortable, will we be able to discern and follow the path he marks out for us. God may require something of me he’d never ask of you because my idols are not your idols. It’s a custom-made path.

Here are three good reasons it’s worth your while to consider choosing differently; to take the risky road.

  •  It’s God’s path. If this wild, unpredictable route is God’s path, to whom does the other path belong? Do I really want to go that way?
  • It leads to life. Once more, if the risky, scary, uncomfortable path leads to life (Zoë life – God’s life), where does the other path lead?
  • It’s never boring! This is the clincher for me. I hate boring and my life has been anything but. There’s drama, surprise, glorious celebration and deep pain. But you know what? I’ve never had to ask if I’m really alive. You don’t drift through that kind of life.

Almost every character in the Bible was a risk-taker. Some of them took poor risks and lost  – like Adam and Eve. Or Lot who pitched his tent towards Sodom. Or Jacob who tricked and deceived his way to the promises when God would have made a way for him to receive them without the treachery and subsequent suffering.

Then there’s Abraham. Can you name a greater risk than raising a knife over your promised son? Or young David demanding to know how in the heck 7’2” Goliath thought he had the nerve to defy the living God with a mere sword when 16-year-old David had all the authority of the name of God as his weapon? How was that for risky?

I could go on for pages with stories about risking annihilation by marching around Jericho seven days and then shouting at the walls. Archaeological digs have shown that not only were the walls six feet thick, but they were 46 ft. above ground and had a retaining wall below. Those walls created an impregnable bastion that no one could penetrate. Would you have listened to God’s directions and said, “That’s crazy”? Or would you have stuck your neck out and believed God?

Dare, Prepare, Leap 

I used to use the saying, “Leap and the net will appear,” but when I think of Felix Baumgartner and his recent legendary space jump, that maxim might not work so well when you’re heading for the ground at 800 miles an hour.

There’s smart risk and then there’s, well…the other kind. It took Felix and Red Bull seven years to build and understand the net. Even then, there was never 100% certainty that it was going to work out.

No one’s advising you not to plan – to calculate your risk from every angle. But in the end, you’ve just got to jump.

And if that seems like something more than you bargained for when you became a Christian, then maybe you need to think deeply about this…

The notion that you’re going to have an ordered and orderly life as a disciple of Jesus Christ is bunk. You want a conventional, consistent, predictable life? Then don’t follow Jesus! ~Leonard Sweet




  1. This surely has made me think! Good work..Sallie

    • Sallie

      I think we’re doing quite well working through the uncomfortable, don’t you? Just look at you on the computer in only a few short months!!


    • Well said, Cathee…so much wisdom there. I’ve come to realize we’re so busy making our plans that we too often do not consider at the outset what His plans are for us. If we would, and then by His grace adopt them as our own, I believe we would see the full impact of Jer. 29:11 in our lives.

      • I couldn’t agree with you more, Doc. Life has a way of pulling us off center and we ignore Matt. 6:33 at our own peril. But oh what a journey when we accept the race He calls us to run. Thinking of you with joy this week!

    • Hope to head your way soon. I’ll keep you updated as to availability. Glad you liked the blog.

  2. Is Charlie your brother from another mother? It’s uncanny how much you two are alike. He was mesmerized by that space jump and watched it several times. Inspiring! It speaks to me about really living. Just seeing his view from up there gave this scaredy cat white knuckles. Yikes! Hoping Jesus doesn’t ask my to minister to cliff dwellers.

    • I, too, have an inordinate fear of heights. When I finally got brave enough to do the zipline at Kanakuk Kamps it was one of the most freeing experiences of my life. It feels good to break through those fears now and then.

  3. Good stuff Cat Woman. I know you have considered that God gives us a sure word of prophecy and faith to understand God’ s prophetic mysteries and to believe what God has said so we know what the future holds. Its all wrapped up in how Jesus taught us to pray, they kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven for thine is the power and the glory forever. Amen
    Who has the power? Jesus said, All power in heaven and earth is given to ME in whom Father God is well pleased. The phenomenal and glorious mystery of it all is that through Jesus, the fully integrated son of man and son of God, the Lord God almighty is pleased with us also and in and through Jesus we have the same awesome power that we can exercise through the same faith that Jesus demonstrated. But who can understand this? You? Me? All Men? YES! All in God’ s perfect timing and will. It is God’ s will that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Jesus said he is the truth, the way and the life. St. John knew through experience with Jesus that Jesus is the light (eternal life) that lights every man who comes into this world. (see John 1:4-9.) And Jesus said, Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the age. Even so, Satan has been given power to sift us like wheat until Jesus prays for us and casts the devil out of our minds and hearts and converts us to become unselfish sons of God who can live together in peace and harmony sharing all things in common. Amen

  4. Very timely!! OK, I’m doing the uncomfortable for the sake of the Kingdom this week. I give up my right to be comfortable and stay home. We are doing a community outreach and I will participate with joy . Thanks for the encouraging words once again.

  5. Wow! Wish I could think of something intelligent to say. You said it so well. I once ask an older Christian why is everything I attempt to do so hard for me? God has sure enlarged my chalanges. I found my answer in Jeremiah 18:6

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