Story of the Day for Wed. September 19, 2012
Who Is Taking the Risk?
The kingdom of heaven is like . . . a man leaving on a trip. He called his servants and gave them his possessions. Matthew 25:14
When the Confederate Navy built the first steel-plated warship, Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, nearly went hysterical. What could the North do to counter it? The destiny of the Union Navy rested in the brainchild of a zany inventor, John Ericsson. It’s hardly a surprise that, when Ericsson presented his ironclad ship design, no one was listening. The Monitor looked like “a cheese box on a raft.” The naval board didn’t believe the ship, if built, would even float. Other than the turret, it was mostly underwater. The odd-looking vessel was only a third the length of a schooner. It had no sails, but ran on steam. And, as to firepower? Two guns.
Could the Naval Department afford to take such a risk?
There’s no question that stepping out in faith is risky. Tim McMahon put it well when he said, “Yes risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing taking.”
Have you ever burned with a dream? You want to use your talents or possessions in a venture for God’s kingdom.
But you never did it. You were afraid you might fail.
Jesus told a parable about a wealthy man who handed over his money to his servants. The servants were to do the best they could with the amount entrusted to them. But whose money was at risk? If the servants tried, and lost the money, they weren’t out a penny.
Would it help you to know you really can’t fail?
In our finer moments, we acknowledge that everything we have belongs to God. Not only our salvation, but everything – our time, talents, and money, is His. But, do we realize what we’re saying when we claim this? When we step out in faith, whose possessions are at risk?
Many historical accounts portray the Naval Department as taking an enormous risk in commissioning the construction of the U.S.S. Monitor. Actually, they took no risk at all. They commissioned Ericsson to build his weird-looking boat – but on the condition that, if it didn’t perform as the inventor claimed, Ericsson would have to personally pay for all construction costs.
Ericsson took the risk.