15 Sep Neighbors Church Core Value #5 Take Risks
Jesus said, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4-11.
What is deep water? It is far from the safety of the shore, where the wind is strong and the waves are brutal. It is the place where you can’t just jump out of the boat and wade to shore on a whim.
Ben Carson the best-known brain surgeon in the United States tells a story about his mother taking a hard stand, risking her relationship with her young sons to ensure a bright future for them.
Ben Carson’s mother was from Tennessee. She married at 13 and by the time she was in her early 20s she had two sons and were living in Detroit. Her husband was living a double life and had another wife and children. When she discovered what he was doing, and she divorced him. So when Ben was about 5 years old and his older brother 7 they were without a father. It wasn’t long before he quit paying child support. To provide for her two boys she often worked three jobs. She worked long hours. Ben remembers not seeing her for stretches of three days because she would leave before they got up and returned home after they were back in bed.
When Ben was in the 5th grade and his brother was in the 7th, they were both having trouble with their grades. Ben was considered the dumbest kid in his class. He tells an experience where the class was doing a math test. They passed their paper to the person behind them to be graded. The teacher read the answers and the students graded each others papers. Then they handed them back and the teacher called the students name. The student had to say their score out loud in front of the others. When she called Bens name he mumbled his score. The teacher exclaimed with excitement, “You got a nine, that is great for you.” She thought he had gotten 9 out of 30. The girl behind him said, “He didn’t get nine, he got none.” He was humiliated.
His mother was very disappointed. Both of her sons were failing in school. As they went to bed that night, she told them she didn’t know what to do but she was going to pray about it. The next morning she told the boys that she was making two changes. First they were watching too much tv and she was limiting them to only 3 shows a week. Second she wanted them to read two books a week and write a book report for each. They could choose any book they wanted. The boys were shocked. Even her friends told her that she was being too hard on them and that she would drive them away into rebellion.
This was a major shift and risk for her. Would her boys revolt, hate her and take a worse path or would they grow and change for the better? She took the personal risk, because she was determined that they develop intellectually.
She stuck to the plan she felt God had given her. They did hate the work, but they did it out of respect for her, even when she was at work. They would read the reports to her. They didn’t realize that she could not read herself.
Reading opened up a whole new world of imagination to Ben. He could be anywhere and do anything. They lived near a railroad and he was interested in rocks so he read about them and how they were formed. One day at school the teacher brought in a black smooth rock and asked the class if they could identify it. No body raised their hand. Ben had never raised his hand in class.
Think about it. Where do you need to take a risky step? Put into deep water and press on!
“Every second you spend thinking about someone else’s dreams you take time away from your own.” – Yogi Ramen