Two Words that can Keep You from Experiencing Life!

Calculated risk. Exhilarating joy!

I’m back after a week of vacation trying to keep up with six grandchildren with the stamina of a herd of energizer bunnies.  I returned with compelling evidence that I am fully alive.

1. I have bruises from head to toe

2. My body aches all over.

I water skied until I literally dropped.  I dived into the water from fifteen feet and came back up again.  I raced my grandchildren swimming across the bay and lost. I flopped like a wounded dolphin trying to get up on a knee board and finally succeeded. Then I hit the big wave.

Children do all the above without even breathing hard and they don’t have to hire a fork lift to get them out of bed the next morning.

Life to the fullest

But, I relish every bruise and sore muscle.  After a week of playing like a child, I feel younger.

One of the highlights of the week was the fifteen foot dive.  Don’t laugh.  Fifteen feet doesn’t sound like much until you are standing on a ledge looking down at the water.  If there is ever a time the mind turns negative, this is it.

What if there is a submarine just beneath the surface?
What if lightning hits the water just as I go in?
What if I never come up?
What if Jesus returns while I am under water?
What if the lake is filled with rogue killer carp?

That’s right. “What if” are the two words that can stand between you, adventure, success, relationships, and many other opportunities life may offer.

It seems like the default setting of my brain is to mull over the negative “what if”  possibilities and then step down from the platform and miss life. After a half hour of taunting, and prompting from my family, I came to my senses.  I realized that except for the killer carp scenario, the risk of diving was minimal almost to the extent of being nonexistent.

I took a deep breath and dived.  In that moment all the negative thoughts were drowned (pun intended) out by a piercing scream of terror. It was over in a second and I popped to the surface hearing the cheers of my grandchildren and family.  It was exhilarating.  I could hardly wait to do it again – and again – and again.

Living Fully Alive is a process of taking calculated risks that lead to adventure. I’m not suggesting you take foolish risks like jumping in front of a bus or cutting in line at Cracker Barrel.  Weight the options, check for submarines, but don’t let unrealistic “What ifs” steal the joy from your life.

Have “What ifs” ever kept you from trying?  Have you ever moved beyond them?  What did you discover?

NOTE!  No old people were harmed in the making of this post!

Moment of Truth! No more "What Ifs!"