Friday, January 18, 2013

When Safety Is A Prison

This morning, I was reading an interview of Dr. Paul Tournier. Speaking of his counseling methods, he was asked, "How do you help your patients get rid of their fears?" He responded, "Oh I don't. That which does not frighten does not have meaning. All the best things in life have an element of fear in them."

It can sound surprising when we are all urged and conditioned, "Play it safe. Don't risk. Don't take chances. Don't fail." No wonder, most of us developed an extreme fear of loss or failure. We withdraw from life as a result.  We avoid choosing the kind of creative risk that will help, heal, or bless our selves and others. Such condition then becomes a form of mental illness!

In different styles, I heard:  "A healthy person is someone who can choose risk and danger." Of course, I realize risk for risk's sake, which is not productive. But life seems to be calling us to give ourselves to worthy endeavors in service of God and man. Heroes are people we admire who live lives of radical risk and danger for causes beyond themselves. 

To be on creative risk is life. All else is waiting.

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