The PBR, Professional Bull Rider, season is a long ten months. The world champion is determined by a points system over that entire ten months. Most of the riders seek to get the largest possible score at each event. The score is based on both the rider’s performance and the bull’s performance. Therefore, to get the highest possible score, a rider will often choose a more “rank” bull. This means that the bull is more difficult to ride, but a successful ride will result in more points. The risk is that the “rank” bull is harder to stay on for the full 8 seconds. There is a higher risk that the rider will not complete the ride, which means no score. Bull riders are not known for playing it safe. They pick the bull with the potential for the highest score. They accept the risks.
Silvano Alves, the reigning World Champion, has decided to be more calculated in his approach. He is choosing somewhat safer bulls. This means that his scores are not the highest, but he is planning to rider a higher percentage of his bulls. He is calculating that finishing in top five every weekend will earn him more points that occasional wins and occasional wipe-outs.
The season will be over in October, and we will see if Silvano’s approach works. Thinking about the different approaches makes me wonder about our approach to discipleship, especially evangelism. All who follow Jesus are called to reach out to others to invite them to be a part of the community of believers. Most people I know prefer a safer approach. They would rather find safe ways to invite others to faith. We don’t want to take the risk. We are worried about being too high-pressure. We don’t want to offend or be considered a Jesus fanatic.
Instead of playing it safe, maybe we need to take more risks. Maybe we need more holy boldness. Maybe we need to go for the big win rather than playing it safe. If we do, there is risk of offending or being rejected. There is also the possibility that a life will be transformed. Go for the big win.
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