A few months ago, a group of billionaires boarded a submersible vessel called Titan to explore the remains of the Titanic. They willingly took a great risk to travel to the extreme depths of the ocean to carry out their adventure. Unfortunately, the vessel imploded and all on board died.
Other seemingly impossible journeys have been successful: It’s incredible to think that men managed to walk on the moon nearly 64 years ago, and today we’re planning to send people to Mars.
You also have actors like Tom Cruise carrying out death-defying stunts in a bid to make their films as realistic and exciting as possible. Perhaps these adventurous actors also enjoy testing their limits?
You may consider these risk-takers to be brave or reckless or overly confident. But in assuming such significant risks, they’re also showing just what humans are capable of achieving. And while testing their limits, some of these adventurers also put tremendous faith in God — astronaut James A. McDivitt carried a St. Christopher medal whenever he went into space.
However, many of us shy away from taking huge risks. And for those who are risk averse — including myself here — it’s hard to know when to take a risk.
Such choices are even harder when they have to be made on behalf of others.
Making tricky choices
Recently I was in the very uncomfortable position of having to make a choice for my teenage son that could have had a detrimental effect to his future if it had been the wrong choice. It’s something all parents have to contend with throughout the course of their children’s lives.
Yet in the decision-making process, I decided the best thing to do was to embrace the risk. I wasn’t making a choice based on a whim. I’d weighed things up carefully, sought advice, prayed like crazy, and sought the intercession of a number of saints.
With the decision made, I just had to “go with the flow,” or in other words, put my faith in God. If things didn’t go according to plan then I felt that other options would arise at the right time.
But by placing my confidence in God I was able to be confident in my choice. And with this confidence came success.
As Catholics we have constant reminders of the benefits of taking risks — just look at the apostles! And if there’s one thing we should learn from those who gave up everything to follow Jesus, it’s that sometimes we really need to take a leap of faith — well, as long as it doesn’t involve parachuting from an airplane for this particular scaredy-cat!