July 28, 2015
A thirteen mile, dusty gravel road was the route our family traveled each day. The perils of that road were numerous. Logging trucks stacked with virgin timber rumbled down the road leaving a perpetual cloud of dust and fear to all who dared pass by. Unwitting tourists wandered onto the road rarely aware that they had entered a commercial race track with terrifying ramifications. Their desire to enjoy the beauty of the wilderness called them to risk. The visitors often ended up in a ditch or over a bank in sheer fear as the gigantic whirlwind of metal, logs, and dust catapulted toward them. Our family simply used the road because it was the way we had to travel for school, market, and life. We knew that the risk was a part of our daily lives. We learned to navigate the perils of a driving business balanced by the reality that we were simply going to or from our home and that this was the only road available to us.
The memories of my childhood stick with me to this day and provide life lessons. In those days I was the little kid stuffed in the back seat of our car dodging and darting with the movement of the car as we raced up and down the gravel road. From my childhood back seat, life seemed out of my control and extremely perilous.
Business leaders often feel the same kind of peril in their lives. The market may crash, the competition may learn your secret sauce, your key employees may find greener grasses, and your board may impede your progress. Even though you may be in the CEO chair, you may feel like a little kid in the back seat and life may seem like it is out of control and very perilous. The logging trucks of life keep coming head on down your gravel road.
Risk & Reward…Every business leader knows what it looks like to travel roads filled with peril. Our lives are a constant risk and reward scenario. There is great news though for leaders who walk by faith. Our faith is not in our ability to pull victory out of defeat at every turn but rather to trust that our lives are being guided by a great God with a purposeful path designed just for us. The perils we face are for our good and not for our destruction. Even the pain of failure, the chaos of family challenges, and the loss of health point to the fact that our risks and our rewards are being managed by another. Our dangerous roads will eventually lead us home and the seeming catastrophes of life will not deter us from our destination. Walking with God is a dangerous adventure with great reward.