Guest post by Neill Synder
I know that Paul doesn’t care much about this. Nate might care while he lives in Nebraska. But I grew up a Nebraska Cornhusker fan. I always have been, and always will be.
In the time Paul’s Hawkeyes have had one coach, Nebraska has gone through 4, with the latest coach, Bo Pelini, being fired. He was a very consistent coach. Always 9 or 10 wins. Always with 4 losses, which made me think if he continued coaching we would certainly lose this year’s bowl game. Always at least one big come from behind victory a year. Always a loss to a team we shouldn’t have lost to. Always a blowout, usually to Wisconsin.
Very consistent indeed.
But I am not writing to vent about a coach. I find something really interesting among my fellow Husker fans. One side says, “Go for championships,” while the other says, “We should be patient, who could we get that is better than Pelini? And it is understandable. Nebraska fired one good coach looking for an excellent coach and ended up with a mess, or as most Nebraskans recite the coaching line, “Devaney, Osborne, Solich, Mistake, and Pelini”.
So there are two sides: one that wants to risk and go for it all and another that knows this isn’t what Nebraska could be but doesn’t want to risk a yearly record of 9-4 for a coach that might do worse.
It is from this I want to springboard into today’s thought. There are two parables that have greatly affected me: The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31) because it shows God’s love for everyone, and the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) because of how Jesus explained something I struggle with.
Much of the time we like to try to define “talent” in the Parable of the Talents. Or we discuss the unequal distribution of the talents. The problem with these discussions is that we miss the real meaning.
Two servants received a large amount of money from the master, some would say ten million and four million in today’s money, and invested understanding the risk of loss. One servant was so concerned with the large amount he had, approximately two million in today’s money, that he didn’t invest. He kept what he had so securely hidden that he did not loose one penny.
This last servant’s motivation was fear of what his master might do to him if he lost. The strange thing in this story is that there seems to be a greater punishment for not even trying. If we read the last line of this parable (Matthew 25:30), the servant was taken out “…where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Or, how Jesus sometimes described hell.
Maybe you’ve heard you’re going to hell for things the Bible doesn’t really condemn outright, such as dress, tattoos, or what you choose to imbibe. But very few Christians think that the refusal to take risks may be putting themselves on a path to hell. Ponder on that for a moment.
I don’t write this as a guy who has perfected risk taking yet. I am not naturally a risk taker. I accept some risk because I procrastinate, but even that is born out of wanting to make the safest decision possible. Naturally, apart from God, I don’t care how much I gain as long as I don’t loose. I have a one-talent mentality. I constantly have to ask God to help me risk, especially as I am scared.
And I get scared. Scared that my current dream of planting an Hispanic church may not be realized. Scared that if it is, it may not be effective. Scared that my family and I won’t be taken care of. But I know this risk is something God has put in my heart. I am not perfect, heck, I wouldn’t even say that I am ideal. But I have to risk. Because if what Jesus says is true, the consequence of not risking is greater than to risk and loose.(Tweet this)
May we chose to risk for the sake of the kingdom.
Update: As I am writing this, I have gotten news that Nebraska hired Mike Riley. Needless to say, I am surprised. And I would say this is a strange risk, certainly not the guy I expected from Oregon to have hired. But we shall see how this works out.