Risky Behavior

“Since everything is a risk, you might as well take a risk on what you love.”

(The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, episode 40.)

My name is Tim, and I suffer from risk aversion. You’ll never see me going out on a limb, jumping in with both feet, or going all in at the poker table. In fact, you probably won’t see me at a poker table at all because, like I said, I’m risk averse.

I’ve been writing guest articles for other people’s blogs for several months. It’s not that I’m in high demand; I write stuff and then send an email to a blog I regularly comment on and ask if they’d like to run a guest piece. There are some generous people out there who say yes, giving me a shot. I have always been grateful, hopeful too: hopeful that I have not driven down the property values of those who let me move in for a post or two.

It’s not a bad deal. I thump on the keyboard and hit send; they read it and hit post. Wouldn’t it be nice to continue this interwebz version of couch surfing, showing up at other folk’s places and letting them do the heavy lifting of running the household? After all, there’s some truth to the tag line I put in all those articles: “Tim guest posts on other peoples’ blogs, but is too lazy to get a blog of his own.”

Plus, running your own blog is risky. I’ve read blog comment sections; sure they can be great spots for conversation (“Ontological comparisons aside, your telos is compelling”), but they can also get downright mean. (“Hey blogger! Your mother dresses you funny!”) Do I want to open myself up to that? Again, why not let someone else do the heavy lifting?

Changes are happening with me in ministry, though, and I’m transitioning out of a weekly writing/teaching ministry I’ve been involved in for years. As it winds down, my wife asked what I might do next. Then she pointed out that I’ve been writing on a lot of blogs.

This blog is my wife’s fault

It’s not her fault because she suggested I blog. It’s her fault because she married me.

You see, because she married me I am a married person. (You can expect meaningful insights like this regularly from me.) That also means I’m able to attend marriage conferences without feeling weird.

We attended a marriage conference last year. One session focused on how husbands and wives can support one another in their plans and dreams. The text was from 1 Samuel 14, and you’re probably already wondering which biblical marriage relationship is found in that passage. None; bonus points to you if you already knew that. (This blog will irregularly award bonus points. They will be in the form of interwebz, a worthless currency that is redeemable in no store I know of. But if awarded they become the sole property of the recipient. Yay for you. Now let’s get back to my point.)

One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men …. No one was aware that Jonathan had left.

On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff ….

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”

“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” (1 Samuel 14:1-7.)

There were no guarantees. Jonathan didn’t know what would happen. The most he could say was “Perhaps the Lord will act.” The unspoken part of that is, “And perhaps he will choose not to.”

His armor bearer went all in: “Go ahead; I am with you.” The unspoken part: “And I may die with you.”

They took a risk, out there all by themselves.

I think bloggers take risks too, out there all by themselves (even if they are not storming an enemy army’s outpost).  But we’re never all by ourselves, are we? God is always with us, and he often puts others at our side.

Jonathan had his armor bearer, my wife and I have each other, bloggers have… well … other bloggers I suppose.

And I’ve got God. Perhaps he will act on my behalf, perhaps not. But this I know and take no risk in saying: Nothing can hinder the Lord.

Welcome to my blog.

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43 Responses to Risky Behavior

  1. KSP says:

    Hooray! It’s about time, Tim. So glad you have taken the plunge–and this first one is good indeed.

    Now you MUST have a twitter account, too. 🙂

  2. LLM says:

    Hi Tim! I have “followed” your blog and will look forward to your posts. I appreciate the challenging and helpful comments you leave on other blogs (like mine!), and your past “guest posts”….So, I think you have a lot of wisdom to share. I like your sense of humor too! : )

  3. Aimee Byrd says:

    Yay!!!! I’m so excited that you finally took the plunge 🙂 Great first article. I just love how your sense of humor intertwines with the challenging truths of God’s Word. It is scary starting a blog. I still get a little frightened before I hit the “publish” button. But I have found such a wonderful community of Christian thinkers. This article describes you! I can only imagine how you are an encouragement to your wife, since you have been such a shining one to all us bloggers.

    You can blame it on your wife–but tell her thanks for me 🙂

    • Tim says:

      Thanks Aimee. In that conversation, after we had talked it through and prayed and come back to the conversation over th ecourse of a couple days she said, “If you’ve thought this through and you think God’s bringing you to this, I think you should go for it.” Just one more instance of how wonderful a wife I have. Wise and thoughtful and supportive and encouraging. We just celebrated our 25th last week!


  4. Dear Tim, I’ve been a fan for a long time now! And this post is great. I am so glad you took this step. Twitter is a good thing too but I shall say if you don’t have one of the kind of phones you can get updates with all the time it is hard to get into the twitter thing. I’ve done liek 2500 or more tweets and I still only have less than 400 followers. And rarely, I mean RARELY does anyone go to my blog from my tweets…..I know other writers have much better experiences with twitter. Maybe one day it will work great for me. And maybe it will be incredible for you and your blog — try it. It takes like 30 seconds to set up an account!

  5. By the way this post really encouraged me. I love what Jonathan says, “Perhaps” and he still goes up anyway. Those are fighting words. 🙂

    • Tim says:

      Thanks Jane, for your encouragement and your insights. I think his armor bearer is a hoot too: “I am with you heart and soul.” What a partner!


  6. I’m so excited that you finally have a blog of your own! I will add it to my news feed, and I look forward to reading your thoughts!

    • Tim says:

      Thanks Kim. I always look forward to reading your thoughts too, and am glad I can now contribute to the opportunity to sharpen each other through these blogs. Hope I hold up my end of things!


  7. Congrats, Tim! It’s about time, I might add. 🙂 Looking forward to reading your thoughts and joining the conversation with the others who gather here.

  8. mmmhmm!! Amen, amen! This is TOTALLY why I blog, but God led me to the passage about shouting what we learn from the rooftops. But my approach is the same — maybe God will use it, maybe he won’t, but he’s asking me to do it, so I’m gonna do it. So happy you have your own blog, Tim!

    • Tim says:

      Thanks Rachel. I know just what you mean about being faithful in doing what God leads us to do whether we see how he ends up using it or not!


    • Rachel, I don’t know you but I love what you wrote to Tim: “Maybe God will use it, maybe he won’t, but he’s asking me to do it, so I”m gonna do it.”

      Those are priceless words! Thank you.

      • Tim says:

        Jane, Rachel’s blog is a great place for talking about God and family and life in general. If you visit her place, it won’t be long before you feel like you actaually do know her!

  9. Tim, I think I ought to do that! Thanks!

  10. I am happy to hear that you have your own blog. Your wife is a great person that she encourages you as she does. How lovely. I look forward to reading all your upcoming posts.

  11. michellevl says:

    Twenty-on comments on a first blog post! This has to be some kind of record!

    Tim, you’ve made a lot of great friends in the blogosphere with your gracious comments and guest posts. I’m so tickled to see you’re now blogging. Adding you to my google reader RIGHT NOW.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks Michelle. I don’t have the words to express my gratitude at having you and these other gracious people as my interwebz friends. You are all so wonderful to me, encouraging me and reading my stuff.


  12. I’m so happy you took this step, Tim! Many thanks to your wife for making this happen 🙂

    And I would LOVE to hear more about how husbands and wives can support each other in their plans and dreams here in this space. (Hint hint.)

    • Tim says:

      Thanks so much for coming by on opening day, Anne! And I think you can expect that marriage and family and ways to build one another up will be recurring topics here.


  13. This feels like a blog-warming party!!! How fun! 🙂
    Blessings, friend.

  14. Lesley says:

    Well, I’ll just say what everyone else said…because it’s true…ABOUT TIME! Congrats. And, what a great first post.

  15. Mary Anne says:

    Re: risk taking in the Bible—see also Daniel and those big furry lions, or the reply or Shadrach and company:”O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. ”

    It’s the “But if not” that always gives me chills. They were throwing in all their chips (I do play poker) and saying, “Call.” And no matter the hand that came up, they were ready. Would that I could be more like them.


    • Tim says:

      I feel the same way, Mary Anne. Those three guys were so trusting that God was with them even if he did not keep them alive. I once heard Beth Moore say that God sometimes rescues us from the fire (so we don’t have to go into it at all), sometimes he rescues us through the fire (as he did with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego), and sometimes he resuces us by the fire (in those instances where that particualr trial is our last and he takes us home to be with him).

      Thanks so much for stopping by to visit, MA!


  16. bekster says:

    Very cool, Tim. 🙂 I look forward to reading what else you have to say.

  17. I saw your link/comment over at Adriana’s and how excited she was to see you’ve started a blog. So curious cat over here had to come and see who Tom was!

    I think you’re off to a grand start… wishing you the best fun as you share your own words from Home!

  18. Merry T. says:

    You have a natrual gift of storytelling and also of applying Biblical truth to everyday life. Thank you for sharing this gift………….visiting from PemberLand….I just saw that you had a new blog, so I had to rush over and check it out.

    • Tim says:

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Merry. I’m glad you popped over from RoP. Did you like the quote source at the top of this post? Very PemberLandish!


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