In the year 1900 famous British Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackelton: (1874-1922) placed the following advertisement in London newspapers to recruit a crew for his National Antarctic Expedition. This is one of the most famous risk quotes that I know of:
“Individuals wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” -Ernest Shackelton
Later he journaled that it seemed that all the young men of Britain wanted to go with him on his expedition. What is it about a challenging adventure that appeals to the human soul? Why did so many young men want to sign up for an expedition that was so dangerous? I guess one could ask the same question about why someone would want to sign up for the adventure of following Jesus? Jesus doesn’t promise an easy life in return for following him. In fact he said things that would have seemed to scare people off from following him, yet people followed him in droves. Here are some risk quotes right from the words of Jesus:
- Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. -Luke 9:23
- He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” -Luke 9:59
- Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” -Luke 9:61
- And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. -Luke 14:27
- When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” -Luke 18:22
I think people intrinsically know that to experience greatness will require something from them. Those things that are most precious and highly valuable also come with a commensurate cost.
One of my favorite mountaineering books is called, Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills. Here is one of my favorite risk quotes from that book that summarizes this idea from an outdoor leadership perspective:
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. –Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills
If you are looking for a way to help your group understand that following Jesus is more than attending church once a week, then think about taking your group out for a wilderness adventure. And do something that will stretch people out of their comfort zone, so that the plaque from their souls will get scraped off, and they will awaken to the adventure, risk, danger, and reward of following Jesus with reckless abandon. One of C.S. Lewis’ most famous risk quotes is from Lucy’s conversation with Mr. Beaver inquiring of Aslan’s character (Aslan is a lion and is a Christ-figure in the book):
Speaking of Aslan…“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver, “ Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe. But he’s Good. He’s the King, I tell you.” -C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
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