by Alan Bailey

Taking a chance on it


Base-jumpers. No doubt you have seen them on TV. They stand on some giddy height then leap toward the ground well below. Their parachute will let them land safely—they hope. Then there are the climbers who scale the side of a skyscraper, hanging on with fingers and toes. All very scary.


Life is full of risks of course, some scarier than others. When taking a risk seems to be the only course available, we simply must do it, hoping for the best. Strangely enough, we like the idea of risk taking.

Look at the business done every day by betting agencies, the lotteries, the bookmakers and the casinos. Every day on the Stock Exchanges, risks are taken, some paying off, others not.

A drawing power

It is the hope of winning that drives people on. Stories of others getting a lot for a little, grab the imagination. But then, how do we explain why people take deliberate risks with their health? Or take an ill-considered plunge into marriage? Or take foolish risks on the road. Or try to beat the law of the land?

Perhaps taking a risk is at times a substitute for grappling with issues and trying to come up with answers. Cheating fate has an attraction for us.

Everything is a risk

Today, youth are educated to think that the whole world, including themselves of course, is the result of blind forces working by chance. So if the human race came about by sheer fluke, it can't have meaning. If it is the product of chance, most likely it will be the victim of it too. We will go out into non-existence with no-one to care.

Older people are risk-takers, too. Often their preparation for death is even less than that of a base-jumper for his leap. They go out into death holding on to flimsy protests about being good enough as they are to meet God. What a plunge! What an awful shock many will receive! And there is no coming back for a second chance. It's foolish in the extreme to gamble on eternity

Playing it safe

What better way to find the secret to eternal security that to listen to Jesus Christ, the one who knows. No-one compares with Him, because He is Lord of the Universe. He puts beyond doubt the question of life after death. His descriptions are meant to make us fear one destination and reach out for the other.

Putting faith in Him as Lord and Saviour is no risk. It is like building on a rock: like putting down an immovable anchor.

No-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3: 11).

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