Spring has sprung and with it, new life faces risks

babes_children_200962Spring is upon us. Whether it is in the bird’s song, the leaves on the trees, the flowers beginning to bloom or the bleary eyed humans seeing the sun for the first time after a long winter’s hibernation, there is new life all around us.

The thing about new life is that there is always risk involved. William Arthur Ward is a poet who writes that to live is to risk. Every time someone or something comes alive, there is risk that it might not work out, that it might not go as planned. For flowers, it means there might not be enough water and they dry up. For birds, it means they may try to fly and hit the ground. For humans, it means that our children may not live out the plans we think they should.

Yet, the greatest disappointment in the universe is to never live. Jesus writes in John 10:10 that his entire purpose of coming was to give life and give it abundantly. If we are going to live like that, there is risk. Too often, we have seen people who have seen the risk and decided it is too great and they have never really lived. Sure, they had a pulse and took up space, but they spent their career in a job they hated and a marriage where unhappiness was an ever present guest.

Avoiding the risk of living is the opposite of Jesus and is an insult to everything Jesus stands for. Jesus never once asked his disciples to sit still and avoid getting hurt. Instead, Jesus said “follow me” as he walked on water, healed the sick, and took up a cross and died for the whole universe and everything in it.

So then, if we are going to come to the end of our life and say we have truly lived, we must take the risk, adjust our sails and go for that new place with unknown adventure. We might fail spectacularly, but at least we lived.

Worship services are held at California United Methodist Church, 227 Third St., every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. On the first Wednesday of each month, the church hosts a community potluck at 6 p.m.

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To Risk

“To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,

To live is to risk dying,

To hope is to risk despair,

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,

But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

The optimist expects it to change;

And the realist adjusts the sails.”

–William Arthur Ward
By Pastor B.T. Gilligan for Pennsylvania Bridges