taking risks

The Biggest Risk I Ever Took

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We make a lot of little decisions each day. However, there are times when we have to make big decisions, and those decisions can have a lasting impact. It can be overwhelming to figure out the best course of action and taking risks can even make us feel paralyzed.

When I think back, I’ve made a number of choices I now would consider to be big risks. One moment more than any other stands out, though, because it set the biggest parts of my life in motion. Here is the biggest risk I ever took and why I really didn’t consider it a risk at the time.

The First Option

When I left the University of Minnesota, I had a chance to go to the Canadian Football League as a quarterback, the position I played in college. Marv Levy, who would go on to have a Hall of Fame career with the Buffalo Bills, then coached the Montreal Alouettes, the team that drafted me into the Canadian League. I was going to get a guaranteed contract and play the position I knew. It made sense.

The Second Option

But the Canadian Football League wasn’t the National Football League and I wanted to play in the NFL, with the best. My second option was to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a defensive back, a position I had never played with a non-guaranteed contract. I’d have to earn my way onto the team. To this day, I’m not sure why I chose option two, but I think God was leading me. All logic pointed toward going to Canada and playing quarterback with a bigger, guaranteed salary versus changing positions for a team I might not even make.

The Result

Choosing Pittsburgh was the best decision. I got to know Coach Chuck Knoll and play on a Super Bowl-winning team. The bottom line, though, is that God was training me to be a coach. I also met my wife in Pittsburgh, so the risk was well worth it.

Sound off: When you’re faced with taking risks, how do you decide what to do?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is the last risk you took? Why did you do it?”