Why not go out on a limb…
One of the most clever insights I’ve ever heard comes from the usually sardonic lips of one Samuel Clemens (a.k.a.- Mark Twain). Why not go out on a limb!?! That’s where the fruit is. It truly speaks to the human dilemma— anything of value in life involves some risk. Similar to Nothing ventured; nothing gained. Too many of us in this entitlement culture have grown used to things being handed to us. Actually, we expect things to be handed to us. No need to work for something. Nothing ventured; it will be given to you. So we learn to live in the expectancy that everything will work out in our favor. Striving, sweating, burning the midnight oil, or going out on a limb are all just asking too much of us. So we go down, and down, and down…, and expect rescue from…? Maybe the fruit doesn’t hold the same appeal for all of us.
When I was in college there was this tree that had been blown over by a wind storm so that its branches hung partly into the Hudson River. It had not died in the fall; rather, it had fought to grow in the new situation in which it found itself. That tree was an inspiration to me. I would often climb out on its trunk, lie back against a branch and ponder and plot my future. The tree became a place of solace in times of pain, a seat of learning as I formulated my life-philosophy, and, just as often, a place to feel the warmth of the sun on my face on a cold winter’s day. That tree is gone now, taken out to sea by an ice flow. But not before it had taught me that I, too, need to learn to go out on a limb if I am ever to accomplish anything of worth.
Granted, some of us are “high risk,” while others are “low risk.” But if we never make a move toward the fruit, we hazard the possibility of breaking the limb by merely staying in one place and gaining stagnant weight. Thus the question arises about our individual foundation, our inner core, our ability to desire, to trust, and to take a risk. Do I have such a solid base within that I can risk going out on a limb externally, for all to see, to go for the fruit? And to what extent does maintaining a healthy relationship with the God who made you make a difference? Might it solidify your foundation, or provide you with a reference point in the core of your being, or effect your ability to desire something, another, anything, or even to trust in yourself, and/or God? Call it risk, call it taking a chance, call it faith— just do something other than sit there.
So why not go out on a limb? That is where the fruit is! Personally, I prefer to go for the peaches.
Have a nice week.