Many of us, I am sure, are familiar with the phrase ‘skin in the game’, which has become widely used now in many areas of society, not least, business and politics. So, what does this mean? Essentially, ‘skin in the game’ means taking a risk for the sake of the mission. How easy it is in so many aspects of our lives to ‘speak from the side-lines’ with little invested and no fear of consequences. It is, of course, a much different scenario when we get stuck in, move from the side-lines and take a risk.
There are so many places (it seems) in our society that are averse to risk taking, otherwise known as being ‘risk averse’. My view on this is perhaps ‘skewed’ by the fact that I work in the education sector, which as we know is highly regulated, thus, sadly, breeding a culture of compliance and risk aversion in many. Although undesirable, I understand how people, when working in certain systems and structures, can fall into a ‘coasting’ mentality and the resulting ‘fear of change’. But life, no matter how safe we play it, is not without risk and as we are here for such a short time (three score and ten!) what a pity it is when we limit the amount of ‘skin’ we have in the game of life.
This weekend I had the privilege to preach to around seventy very happy children who were full of life. It’s an amazing reality when you can look into the face of a young child and see how excited they are for the future and the adventure ahead. I reminded them and in doing so, reminded myself, that Jesus calls each of us to be ‘salt to the earth’ and ‘light to the world’. In other words, our faith must also be associated with ‘visible action’! So, whether we are still young with everything ahead or perhaps a little older, it is always good to get some ‘skin in the game’, to move from the subs bench and get stuck in to this risky, crazy and amazing thing called life.