“Risk is where the life is.”
– Rob Bell
Some friends and I went backpacking in Canada several summers ago.
It contained absurd, unimaginable levels of beauty.
It also contained risks, namely grizzly bears.
You may be one to find comfort in there being only 65 grizzly bears in Banff National Park, but let’s break this down real quick:
Grizzly bears weigh up to 700 pounds.
Grizzly bears run 35 miles per hour.
Grizzly bears, standing up, reach heights of up to 8 feet.
(For fun: Grizzly bear #122 has eaten several black bears. He was also once hit by a train. Oh, and he’s still alive.)
With that knowledge, 65 bears was 65 too many.
I knew where my bear spray was the entire trip,
all while still attempting to admire the beauty unfolding before me.
Being hypervigilant of risk
Striving to make space for it in the moment.
It seems like life is found in between these two seeming-contradictions:
Precaution and Presence.
Having your guard up can keep you safe.
It can also keep you from admiring the mountains you drove 20+ hours and hiked 45+ miles to reach.
“Risk is where life is.”
In How to be Here, Rob Bell shared this seemingly simple sentiment.
You cannot simply choose if you want to “do” risks.
As long as you are human, there is no
or entirely avoiding
risk and its effects.
You can choose to overindulge in risk, as if life is not fragile enough.
For me, there are more than enough positive and negative turns in life to intentionally further rock an already unsteady boat.
One cannot seek
Without the risk of
Befriending risk doesn’t exclude you from the negative consequences it may carry, but shunning risk does exclude you from the fullness of life standing before you.
Why would we ever close ourselves off to such beauty?