Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Taking risks.


I read this recently about a father and his 10 year old son on a trip to ride motorbikes across the desert:

When we got to the desert, we headed for the sand dunes.  These dunes were different from the ten-footers I rolled down at the beach as a kid.  These were seven hundred feet tall.  Once you start up these monsters in a motorcycle, you need to get to the top without stopping.  If you hesitate or try to pause halfway, the result is that you, with the motorcycle on top of you, cartwheel all the way down to the bottom.  It’s a pass/fail course because there’s no in between.
                After topping several huge sand dunes with Adam and then losing track of him for a moment, I heard his motor racing just over the next dune.  I made my way over to where the noise was coming from and it was apparent in an instant that Adam was planning to jump from the top of one sand dune to the top of another.  I was yelling ”No!” across a canyon of sand, and it felt like a movie-style slow motion sequence kicked in as Adam raced through the gears and hit the peak of the dune doing more than 60 miles per hour.  Almost immediately, Adam and his machine separated.  It was quite a sight, really.  He had the look of both Superman and a gut-shot pheasant at the same time.  Adam landed 120 feet later surrounded by the scrap metal remains of what he was riding.  His first words when I rushed over to him were “That was awesome.”  And you know what?  It was.  Even though things didn’t go as planned and Adam crashed and burned, there was a huge sense of accomplishment for him in that. (Bob Goff, ‘Love Does’, published by Thomas Nelson, 2012.)

People tell me I’m a bit of a risk-taker.  I don’t really do physical risks, like sky-diving or bungee-jumping (although I would quite like to!), but I suppose I have been known to take emotional risks pursuing love or a connection or ... something.  (Moi?  Really???  Never...!)

With my heart on my sleeve, I hit the top of a dune like a kid at 60 miles per hour launching into the unknown.

Inevitably, I occasionally end up face down in the sand with a wreckage around me.  And it hurts.

But, in the end, sometimes through the tears, I’ll look you in the eye and say with absolute conviction: ‘That was awesome.’  And you know what?  It was.  Hell, I got to fly!

Don’t be afraid of falling, you’ll miss out on the spectacular.

And when you do fall, get up, collect the bike, go back to the foot of that dune, and start revving the engine...

Let’s go again.

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