When was the last time you took a risk?
As a melancholy personality, I am not by nature a risk taker. I like safe, secure and structured. I’m pretty sure that’s not what God wants for us.
A few years ago, my good friend and mentor, Betty Southard, suggested I read a book. The book, by John Ortberg, was titled If You Want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat. I was familiar with Ortberg who at the time was a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago.
Today Ortberg is most known for his writing in the area of spiritual formation, but 16 years ago when this book was written John Ortberg was known for his experience in leadership. This peaked my interest and I was eager to read what he had to say.
It was safe to assume Ortberg’s book addressed the topic of risk. At least the title made me think so, but it was about a great deal more. It was about experiencing the power of God in my life allowing me to accomplish things I never thought I could. It was about tapping into my God given potential.
About the time I read Ortberg’s book, I was embarking on a journey of spiritual formation. I desperately wanted a deeper relationship with my Savior. Reading this book helped me take those first few hesitant steps into an unknown world. You might say I stepped out of the boat.
Recently, faced with a decision, God nudged me to once again pick up If You Want to Walk on Water You Have to Get Out of the Boat. I knew my copy was in a box somewhere so I headed to the public library. There it was sitting on a shelf waiting for someone to retrieve it and that someone was me.
I’ve read the book again but with new eyes, older more experienced eyes, and what I realized was that while the book was about risk taking and developing a deeper relationship with God it was about much more. Maybe this time I got it.
God has big plans for His children. Did you catch that? BIG plans for you and for me. Sadly we miss out on so many of these plans. Why? Because we are afraid. And what are we afraid of? Failure? Humiliation? Bankruptcy?
Life is filled with risks. When speakers and writers come to CLASS events they have dreams. They want us to help them achieve those dreams. We want to help them. We encourage them to take risks. To get out of their boat.
Gratefully over the years we have heard story after story from CLASS alumni that proves getting out of the boat was worth it. Books have been published, stories have been shared, ministries have been birthed, lives have been transformed.
And now it is time to practice what we preach. It’s time for us to climb out of the boat.
On Saturday, November 11 CLASSeminars will launch the Southwest Christian Book Fair. This event will be held at the Sheraton Uptown in Albuquerque, NM. The book fair will be held from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. It will be part of our annual CLASS Writers Contreat. You do not have to participate in the contreat to have vendor space at the book fair.
This is a new venture for us. We are stepping out of the boat. We are keeping our eyes focused on Jesus and following in His steps. We want to walk on water and we want you to join us.
Watch our website for more information on the Southwest Christian Book Fair.