i recently signed up for a babysitting site called care.com. you create a profile, advertise your services and seek out jobs. i responded to one from a family coming in to town for the Jets/Colts game, needing care for their 5-year-old daughter. after some emails and a phone conversation, they asked me to take the job and i agreed.
i’ll admit, this felt a bit like online dating and even as i biked there, i wondered if i was insane for accepting this job from complete strangers. would i be lured to a hotel room, only to be bound and gagged and robbed? a million and one sick scenes played through my mind.
of course, none of that happened. i got to hang out with a super cool, highly energetic 5-year-old, and we spend the night playing and dancing and learning about Canada. we settled into the bed and i turned on some soothing Ray LaMontaigne and she was out like a light.
as i sat there, in a beautiful room in the historic Canterbury Hotel downtown, with this lovely sleeping child laying next to me and Ray playing quietly, i thought again about risk. how rewarding it can be.
i recently risked big time in a relationship. layed all my cards on the table, let myself be transparent and exposed. but it wasn’t reciprocated. some actions were taken and i was left feeling deeply hurt.
one of the writing exercises did this week was focused on mood. i was to enter whatever mood i was in, sit with it, write for 10 minutes without ceasing. so i sat with my mellow mood which, as i wrote, became more of a mood of lamenting. i realized how much i was grieving this friendship and the possibility of hope. risk equated itself fully with pain.
the tendency at this point would be retreat, avoid any further situations but risk, it seems, adds the color to my life. darks and reds and bright and brilliant oranges and blues. but color nonetheless. on this canvas of my life, it’s what really keeps the picture from stagnating. it pulls me off the page and into reality, keeps me alive. really alive, not just living.
and the truth is, if i desire to have faith, hope, love, and grace in my life, i must risk. for none of those are safe places to walk. they are unknown, unsure, unsteady ground. my feet don’t always know the way, but the willingness to risk must be the shoes i wear.
the master was furious! “that’s a terrible way to live! it’s criminal to live cautiously like that!. . . .take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most.”
-matthew 25, parable of the talents