She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned–caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.” (Matthew 9:21,22 The Message)
The status quo requires no risk. Nothing ventured; nothing gained. But excellence, by its very nature, requires that you break out of the pack and pull away from the common and ordinary, shaking off the mundane and mediocre. Hey, the only thing in the middle of the road is yellow stripes and dead armadillos!
The woman knew that there was healing power working in and through Jesus, so much that if she could only place her finger upon his robe – she would be made whole. But she was unclean, and He a Rabbi. She was a woman; He a man. To violate the social protocol could result in her being stoned by the religious zealots of the day.
She took a risk of faith – and it paid off huge!
It has be said many times, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” What this means, then, is if you want something that you’ve never had before, you must be willing to do something that you’ve never done before. And that is where RISK comes into the equation.
Noah built a boat in the middle of a desert —that was a risk. Abraham left his home and went out, not knowing where he was going – that was a risk. Moses forsook the security of Pharaoh’s palace, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God —that was a risk.
Daniel prayed to God though the king had decreed death to any who dared do so—that was a risk. David faced a giant in the open field of battle—that was a risk. John the Baptist confronted the sins of King Herod—that was a risk. Peter walked on water—that was a risk. Paul openly declared to Caesar himself that Jesus Christ is Lord—that was a risk.
These were men of whom the world was not worthy. These are the fathers of our Faith, and we are their sons and daughters. Now it is our turn. Now we have the opportunity and the abilities to not only follow in their steps, but to go beyond where they themselves were able to go. But it will require a definite dose of vision, passion, discipline and risk.
Are you willing to make that leap?
The difference between success and failure may come down to this; one decided to take a risk, while the other chose to take a rest. Let me leave you with the inspiring words of James Ephraim McGirt, a celebrated African-American poet (1874-1930) —
The Farther Shore
Success is a light upon the farther shore,
That shines in dazzling splendor to the eye.
The waters leap, the surging billows roar,
And he who seeks the prize must leap and try.
A mighty host stand trembling on the brink;
With anxious eyes they yearn to reach the goal.
I see them leap, and, Ah! I see them sink –
As gazing on dread horror fills my soul.
Yet to despair I can but droop and die;
‘Tis better far to try the lashing deep.
I much prefer beneath the surge to lie
Than death to find me on this bank asleep.