How should the Christian view Risk and Fear?

For those of you who know me personally, or follow me on Facebook, you probably know that I took up Crossfit about a year ago. Now, I’m not writing this post to tell you about how much I enjoy Crossfit and the great things it has done for me.   I’m writing because I am consistently being reminded in the gym of some powerful life lessons that I believe are worth sharing.

man leaping across mountains-- risk blog

Now before I get started, there are some fundamental things that you have to understand about Crossfit and my particular experience with it.


  • In Crossfit the workouts are called “W.O.D.s” — Workout Of the Day—and every day the WOD is different.


  • All the WODS are timed—the goal is to either complete all the repetitions as fast as you possibly can OR complete as many repetitions as you can in the specified amount of time.


  • I am very competitive—that’s one of the reasons Crossfit has worked for me.   There is this little “app” on my phone called “Wodify” and every day I get to log in and see how my performance ranked among the other men in the gym. They are obviously ranked in order from first to last.


  • Rarely do I place in the top spots. This doesn’t go very well with the bullet point above. I just don’t have the motor (Crossfit lingo for “endurance”) to keep up with the younger guys. I do pretty well with the shorter workouts that have heavier weight, but those seem to be few and far between.


  • Every day I get to log in and the same guy is on top. And to top it all off….his name is “Jesus”! That’s right. It’s like this subtle reminder from God that Jesus is the one on top and is all powerful! I have little chance of catching this Jesus guy in the gym. He just keeps going and going and going. And it doesn’t seem to matter how hard I work…. He is getting better faster than I am.


So what s the story here?   Last week I get to the gym and the WOD of the day is called the “Dirty Pop Special”. I forgot to tell you that they also create these fun names for many of the WOD’s. So here is what the “Dirty Pop Special” consisted of…


Row 2000 meters as fast as possible—this part isn’t bad—I can generally complete this in about 7.5 minutes. It’s the next part that makes it much tougher….

Every minute–on the minute—you have to get off the Rowing machine and complete 3 CLEAN AND JERKS with 135 lbs (not going to explain what a clean and jerk is here–just Google it) and then you get back on the rowing machine and keep rowing until you get to the 2000 meter mark. So when the clock strikes 1:00 minute you have to get off the rower as fast as you can and do 3 clean and jerks and then get back on the rower. Then row again until the clock strikes the 2:00 minute mark and do your clean and jerks…and so on and so forth. Now this gets really hard because getting off the rower, doing the Clean and Jerks, and getting back on can literally start to take up 30 seconds of every minute.


So I come into the gym on this day and see that ‘Jesus” has already completed this WOD in about 10:40 seconds.   I get warmed up, tell the coach to start the clock, and its GO TIME! Now I’m pretty good at rowing because I’m tall and I’m fairly decent at Clean and Jerks as well. My Clean and Jerks are taking me about 20-25 seconds each minute. I’m getting close to completion and here is where I find myself. I only have about 170 meters left to finish the 2000m. I am absolutely exhausted, my glutes and quads are on fire, and I’m now hearing the sound of my own breathing over the blaring music in the gym. I look at the clock and it says I’m at 9:25 seconds. That means I only have 35 seconds to complete the last 170 meters on that rower. I am in a predicament and I have to make a decision very quickly. I can either muster up every last bit of energy I have and turn up the pace and attempt to finish the entire 170m in the 35 seconds left or I can play it safe and keep a steady pace so I will have some energy left to knock out the next set of clean and jerks. The problem is that if I do an all out sprint and I don’t make it before the clock hits 10 minutes then I have to do 3 more Clean and Jerks AND get back on the rower and finish. But I will be worthless from the sprint I just did. If that happens there is a good chance I will find myself in 2nd or 3rd place that day. Now second or third isn’t bad, but it’s not first! I can take the risk and possibly win. I can play it safe and stil still do “pretty good”.

Well you probably can guess the end of the story. It’s doubtful I could pull a life lesson out of this if I had been defeated that day. In that split second I made the right decision. I decided to go for it. I sprinted with everything I had left in me and the rower hit 2000m at the exact moment the clock struck 10 minutes. I made it—I was victorious! As I said, the days I am at the top of the leader board are few and far between but that day I tasted victory and it was sweet. As I look back afterwards though I realize that the victory was won in a split second. It was won when I made that decision. I decided to take a risk! I decided that I would play to WIN rather than playing “not to lose”.

I become more and more convinced in my life that FEAR is the greatest thing we must learn to conquer.  Fear makes us focus on “not losing” rather than winning! Fear tells us that we should play it safe and not take risk. But we will never win with that mentality. We will be doomed to a life of mediocrity. We might not lose, but we definitely won’t win!

But aren’t we His children? Our Dad has told us over and over and over again….DO NOT FEAR!!! It is one of the most repeated phrases/themes in the entire Bible. I believe He is calling His people to lives that involve taking RISK. The theme of our lives should be that we “walked by faith”.  Whats worse is that each risk He challenges us with may be bigger than the last!  I am not saying that we shouldn’t do our due diligence.  I am not saying we shouldn’t seek Godly counsel.  But at the end of the day if we are going to WIN in this life, it will most likely involve taking great risks. It will involve  putting ourselves in positions where we only see two options. We will either be victorious or we will go down in flames. But do not fear… our Dad has said…

Psalm 1

1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.


I can tell you personally most of my greatest victories in life, especially in business, came as a result of me taking leaps of faith. What about you? Is there something in your life you haven’t done because of fear? I would love to know your thoughts?


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