An old year has completed its course. A new year is smiling at us with twelve months of the unknown. An entire ocean of possibilities, including both sun-drenched days and a few storms with howling winds and giant waves, stretch out across the uncharted waters. If we let ourselves, we could become so afraid of the potential dangers, so safety conscious, we would miss the adventure.
That’s one option, of course—becoming a beach-dwelling couch potato, someone who looks toward the horizon, entertains a few thoughts that start with “Someday . . . ” or “In a year or two I’m gonna . . . ” but then leans back and just keeps looking. What if Christopher Columbus had been content to build sandcastles along the shores of Spain?
Now, admittedly, some go a little nuts when they decide a change is needed. Larry Walters did. The thirty-three-year-old truck driver had been sitting around doing zilch week in, week out, until boredom got the best of him. That was back in the summer of ’82. He decided enough was enough; what he needed was an adventure. So, on July 2 of that year he rigged forty-two helium-filled weather balloons to a Sears lawn chair in San Pedro, California, and lifted off. Armed with a pellet gun to shoot out a few balloons should he fly too high, Walters was shocked to reach 16,000 feet rather rapidly. He wasn’t the only one. Surprised pilots reported seeing “some guy in a lawn chair floating in the sky” to perplexed air-traffic controllers.
Finally, Walters had enough sense to start shooting a few balloons, which allowed him to land safely in Long Beach some forty-five minutes later. When asked why he did such a weird thing, Walters usually gave the same answer: “It was something I had to do . . . I couldn’t just sit there.”
Between doing nothing and trying something that ridiculous, there’s a wide expanse worth probing. Think of the dozens of things God is going to teach us and the many ways we are going to see Him work in the coming year!
But I should warn you, you will have to change . . . and that won’t come easily. Mark Twain was correct when he said, “The only one who likes change is a wet baby.”
Breaking out of old, tired routines is one of the secrets for staying young and energetic.
In 2020, let’s promise each other not to become so afraid of potential dangers that we miss God’s adventures.— Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This