“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.” – Ecclesiastes 11:4-6
In Ecclesiastes 11, Solomon warns us against becoming so cautious that we do nothing, that we take no risks, until all the pieces fall into place. In verse 4, Solomon writes, “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.” This verse is directed to people who are overly cautious. The farmer who waits for the most opportune moment to plant, when there is no wind to blow away the seed, when there is no rain to ruin a ripe harvest, will never do anything but sit around waiting for the right moment. Nothing happens because perfect conditions never happen. Yes, rain and wind could harm or even destroy the crops. And yes, the work that you did may have to be redone. But even if you have to redo it several times, having a harvest is better than doing nothing and having no harvest.
I’m sure you see the application to our lives today. Stepping out in faith is better than waiting for the perfect moment. There is no perfect time to have kids. We never have enough money, energy, or patience. Once you have children, don’t wait for the right time to spend time with them. Before you know it, your kids will be all grown up. If you are married, don’t wait for your husband or wife to be all that you want. Begin pouring your life into your spouse now. Don’t wait until you have spare time, more money, or better health. If you are not currently serving in the church, get involved today. If we wait until we’re less busy, until we feel right, until just the right moment, we will never serve, and we will never see results. Solomon is telling us to represent God in all that we do and with all that we have. To do that, we can’t play it safe, we must take some risks.
What types of risks can you take? There are many possibilities. Every Christian’s life is marked by windows of opportunity that require radical steps of faith in order to follow Christ and fulfill His purposes for your life. And what makes that step radical is that it can and often does involve significant risk. And that risk can create the fear of failure. And that fear of failure can have you saying, “wow, if this doesn’t work out, the impact on my life could be…well pretty bad.”
But where there is no risk, there is no faith. And where there is no faith, there is no power. And where there is no faith, there is no joy. And where there is no faith, there’s no intimacy with God. And where there is no faith, there is no reward. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:34)
1. Why do you think God asks us to take risks? What do we learn about ourselves, and how do we grow by taking risks?
2. What is the opposite of taking risks? What happens when we never step out in life and take risks?
3. What are some of the obstacles to stepping out of our zones of comfort? Which of these obstacles could we work on this week?