Would a palm tree grow at 7,500 feet. That was the question. The high altitude means our home at Refuge Ranch in Mexico has nights that are cool, around 50 degrees (Fahrenheit), and the daytime temp never gets much above 70 degrees. I decided to buy a small palm tree, about three feet in height, and give it a try. Now, some 12 years later, it towers as high as the two story house along which it was planted. I recently trimmed off the lower 23 palm fronds (that were dead or dying) to keep it looking nice! I’m glad I took the step of faith and bought the tree, planted it, and tended it for these past dozen years!
Very little in life comes with guaranteed results. There’s almost always the risk that things may not turn out the way we want, and many times they don’t! This is true with relationships, business endeavors, volunteering, starting a project, or whatever.
Taking risks and stepping out in faith goes against our nature, at least that part of our nature that wants security and guarantees! We’ve all had our risk taking and steps of faith end badly, and we’d rather not repeat the performance! Sure, sometimes it’s turned out well, but for most of us we tend to remember the times it didn’t go the way we wanted rather than the times it did.
I often remind myself that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times trying to invent a reliable light bulb. He said, “I haven’t failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If we aren’t sure something will work out the way we want we’ll never know for sure unless we try! Trying and failing is never as bad as failing to try.
God’s calling on our lives is almost always a call to move beyond our comfort zone which means courage must trump comfort! This can, and should, play out in countless ways. God may be calling us to establish, repair or re-establish a relationship when we’re not certain the other person will be open to the idea. The Lord may be calling us to try something new, and we’re not sure we can succeed at it. He may be asking us to give up something, and that can be risky too!
I stood resting, surrounded by the 23 palm fronds I had trimmed from my thriving palm tree. In my resting I reflected on how I had wondered 12 years earlier whether the small palm tree would survive at 7,500 feet. Now I knew! It was a reminder that taking a risk is often the best way to go!
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Hebrews 11:8