By Gary Miller
As a young adult, I worked for a mining company. My job allowed me to stay in the mountains all day. We only saw a boss on Mondays and Fridays. I prospected for coal by core drilling. It was a great job. It was there I learned about trees, and how to find ginseng, and morel mushrooms. Those short years impacted by outdoor life more than any other stage of my life. It was at that time when I really did come to the point I believed “A country boy can survive.”
Even though I was gullible toward some things, I knew in order to get to the good stuff, I had to be willing to jump in even when I wasn’t sure about the outcome. More than once, I was the brunt of a joke because I ate something or did something that I really shouldn’t have. Like the time I ate the root of a plant because my mentor told me that Indians did. It turned out that that it was some sort of bitter root that made me feel like I had swallowed my grandmother’s pin cushion. You may ask why somebody would do you that way. Because they knew I would bite (pardon the pun). They knew I would try it. They knew I would jump in.
How many times have you offered a child a bite of food that he has never tried, only to have him respond “I don’t like it?” You say, “But you’ve never even tried it!” And he says, “I don’t like it.” And you scratch your head (because he’s just like you were). Well, when I was a young adult, I was willing to try most anything. I knew since my little city offered very little, I must expand my horizons when given the opportunity. Sometimes I was glad I did and other times I was not.
But I do think it is certainly the way to go because I also think regret is more painful than failure. For me, regret lingers longer and has nothing to fall back on. If I fail, I can at least say I tried, and move on. If I take no action, I wallow, wish, and wonder about what could have been. If you are a follower of Christ, God calls us to step out into areas that are risky and unknown. He does so, so that He can do miraculous things in and through our lives, so others will become followers as well. Every now and then you may taste the sting of a bitter root, but I promise the sting of regret will hurt more… and longer.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.