Seasons of Risk

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By Rick Moore

They say the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. My mother was a preacher’s daughter, and my dad was a professional gambler. I’m still not sure what that makes me. Some people bet on sports, some bet on the stock market, and some on real estate. When a man takes a knee and asks a woman to marry him, he is taking a chance on being rejected. If a football coach goes for it on 4th down and makes it, he is a genius. If he doesn’t make it, he is probably blamed for losing the game. No risk…no reward.

My father was a card player, a book-maker and a pool player. He made a living as a gambler for over six decades. One piece of advice he gave about gambling was, never play scared. If you think you are going to lose, you probably are. Insecurities can talk you out of pursuing opportunities. This is true for all areas of life. A person who has suffered loss, be it a pet or a family member, is hesitant to start over. Is beginning a new relationship worth the risk of having your heart broken? As Tony Arata wrote in the song made famous by Garth Brooks; “I could have missed the pain but I’d had to miss the dance.”

Some preachers say we should take risks, get out of the boat and have faith to walk on water. Others say we should be modest and content with where we are and with what we have. Maybe it’s a matter of what season of life we are in. King Solomon said “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

Abraham Lincoln was known for taking risk. In 1832, he was defeated in his bid to the state legislature. In 1833, he failed in business. In 1835, his sweetheart died. In 1836, he had a nervous breakdown. In 1838, he was defeated for his run for Speaker of the House in Illinois. In 1843, he was defeated in his nomination for Congress. In 1849, he was rejected as a land officer. In 1854, he was defeated for the U.S. Senate. In 1856, he was defeated for Vice President. In 1858, he was defeated again for the U.S. Senate. In 1860, he was elected as President of the United States of America. If Abraham Lincoln were to give you advice about your current situation, do you think he would tell you to throw in the towel and quit? I doubt it.

Evander Holyfield, a native of Atmore, Alabama, dealt with a congenital heart condition prior to fighting Mike Tyson for the heavyweight championship. Getting into the ring with Mike Tyson in perfect health was risky enough. Evander knew it was about more than just the physical heart. He took a chance and won because he had the “heart of a champion.” Always remember, inside every acorn might just be an oak tree.

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