Icicles hang as daggers in the cold winter landscape. Hard, solid, jagged-edged drippings which have crystalized in the outer elements.
Have you ever wondered what would happen should one break off and come crashing down upon your head? Would it be sudden death or lingering pain and suffering?
Most people don't enjoy the thought of having to endure pain for an extended period of time. In fact, an immediate death is probably preferred over having to lay in bed day-after-day waiting to heal or facing the reality of an impending death or permanent disability.
Is a brief thrill worth the possible consequences? Let's see... there is bungee jumping, white river rafting, parachuting, lethal drug taking, drinking and driving, unprotected sex and internet dating just to name a few stimulating sensation makers.
Sure there is the standard argument that we take chances everyday by driving our car to work. But, why do people take unnecessary chances? Is risk taking foolish? Do we do these things out of boredom or is it because of curiosity about what is on the other side of fear?
Surely, in some situations we would be careless fools to leave the gamble's outcome to chance. If we jeopardize our own life versus the health and safety of another, we are talking about a totally different subject than one which has the potential of a positive outcome.
Some adrenaline junkies, thrill seekers, rush wanters would never take simple risks like applying for a promotion or relocating out of state. Yet others will jump at the opportunity to do the very items some would not consider.
Some risk taking is good. Things never change, if we allow fear to prevent that first step. Don't allow fear of failure to hold you back. There is a thrill factor and certain freedom associated with knowing that your risk was worthwhile.
Some don't even consider there could be a negative result from their risk taking. Others need to prove something to themselves.
There are as many different levels of risk as there are individuals willing to take them. Factors such as our emotions or reactions can play a significant role as well. When we react or are extremely emotional, at that time, we may not care if we live or die.
Life is a big adventure, but maybe the next time we see dangerous icicles hanging we should stop, pray and listen instead of standing underneath them wondering what will happen when the weather warms.
God gives us freewill. He gives us the freedom to make our own decisions and we cannot ignore the natural process of cause and effect. We need to weigh our options and decide if we could live with the worse case scenario; if so - perhaps, we should go for it.
What we have to remember is that there are very real consequences for our actions. The next time a risk presents itself, ask in prayer for a discerning spirit and His wisdom. He wants us to be all that we can be. We have to be careful neither to make reckless decisions nor to get too complacent.
The NIV puts it like this in 1TIM:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, of self-discipline."
**Read here about the biggest risk of all on Valentine's Day