His September 11, 2015 blog post is a classic, titled: “FEAR PARALYZES “. It is a powerful story about the importance of taking risks. I wanted to repost it here today. Dr. Harbour writes:
Most American history buffs know that Christopher Columbus did not really discover America; nor was he the first European to step foot on American soil. That honor belongs to Leif Eriksson. In the year 1000, Eriksson and his sailors came ashore on what is now known as Labrador and Newfoundland and “discovered” America.
But that honor could have belonged to Bjarni Herjulfson; for he came to the shores of Newfoundland nearly fourteen years before Eriksson. Herjulfson was on the way to Greenland when a fierce storm blew him off course. When the storm subsided, Herjulfson spotted a land that he did not recognize.
The crew begged him to explore the new land but Herjulfson was not willing to risk stepping foot on a dangerous, unknown shore. So he turned the boat around and made his way back to Greenland.
Herjulfson later told the story of his adventure to Leif Eriksson who lived on risk. Eriksson bought his boat, retraced the journey as Herjulfson described it, found the unknown land, went ashore to build a house and establish a village, and in so doing became the first European to set foot on North American soil.
It could be Herjulfson whose name we associate with the discovery of America had he not been paralyzed into inactivity because of his fear. Instead, his name has disappeared into the annals of forgotten history. What adventures does your fear prevent you from enjoying?
Dr. Harbour has spent his life living out this latter conviction. His whole professional life demonstrates that we must ever be willing to take risks and to explore new territory. He first received his doctorate in theology from Baylor University in 1973. In his professional life, he then served as a Pastor of churches in Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, and Arkansas, as well as serving several churches in Texas.
After pastoring, he served as a visiting professor at George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas for more than a decade, influencing a whole generation of young church leaders. In addition to serving as a speaker and conference leader in many states, Dr. Harbour has been a prolific writer as well, having authored nearly a dozen and a half books. Moreover, he has been a frequent contributor to numerous other periodicals and sermon publications, as well as being a permanent contributing editor for Preaching magazine.
Additionally, Dr. Harbour has also been a member of the National Speakers Association, has served as a Regent at Baylor University for 10 years, and has served on the System Board for the Baylor Health Care System of Dallas. And all of this has come after he served two years as Chairman of the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
I share these latter items only because they plainly illustrate an person who has been willing to take a risk or two along the way. Indeed, in my profession (that of Christian ministry), few people are therefore as qualified to ask the above question as him: “What adventures does your fear prevent you from enjoying?”
One other person who was qualified to ask that question was wise old King Solomon. In the King James Version of Ecclesiastes 11:1, he admonishes us thusly: “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” The New International Version perhaps comes closer to the intended meaning: “Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return.”
Indeed, the New Living Translation probably comes closer than either of these when it says: “Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.”
Scholars tell us that Solomon, considered both the wisest and the richest man who ever lived, was actually admonishing his readers to take a risk. He was saying that they must be willing to take the grain they had before worked so hard to grow and harvest and now put it on a ship and let it sail away across the Mediterranean.
To be sure, this was scary proposition, fraught with risk; but how else could they possibly hope to make a profit if they were not willing to take a risk?!
And there you have it. As Benjamin Franklin put it, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I leave you with this question: “What would God have you to venture this day?”
SOURCE: http://seminaryplus.org/blog-3/. You can read more at: http://www.brianslines.com/aboutbrian.htm.