HAVE YOUR SAY
Volume 18 Number 2
What is the Biggest Gamble You've Ever Taken?
01 April 2005

MY SEVEN-year-old son became really worried by the time I had won seven old pence on a machine in a seaside arcade, many years ago. ‘Stop it, Mum!’ he yelled, pulling me away. I did.

MY SEVEN-year-old son became really worried by the time I had won seven old pence on a machine in a seaside arcade, many years ago. ‘Stop it, Mum!’ he yelled, pulling me away. I did.

But a rather bigger gamble had come years before when I agreed to get married. I was enjoying my freedom. Being tied to one other person was the last thing I was looking for.

I was only too aware of Ken’s hopes and it became a matter of urgency when he was due to go overseas and I had to decide before he went. Fortunately by that time I had already decided that what God wanted for my life was all that really mattered and I finally dared to refer the matter to him. The totally unexpected thought that came into my mind was, ‘I want you to give all you can to Ken.’ That had to mean marriage and I found myself amazingly contentedly accepting the gamble.

Once married, our oneness grew steadily until he died 61 years later, leaving me feeling like a split pea. We were certainly an oddly assorted couple, and ‘giving all I could’ didn’t always come easily. But we were completely at one in our love of God and our determination to keep him at the heart of our family life.

This meant the endless possibility of change and growth. Asking God where I could have behaved differently, if things went wrong, always worked. We felt we were discovering a way of living together which could work in any situation if it could work with us.

The gamble paid off with unimaginable generosity.
Frances McAll, Hampshire, UK



THE BIGGEST risk I ever took was on 29 December 2001. On that day, I came clean. At the time I was in an affair (for one-and-a-half years) and very confused about sexual issues. The confusion and double life standard was tearing me apart inside. I committed to myself that on that night, I would let all my secrets out to my wife and anyone else who wanted to know.

That night changed my life forever in more profound ways than any other moment of my life. On that night, my true vulnerability was let out.

How did it all turn out? Well, I have learned a great deal about myself and other people. My wife did not take my confession too well. We are now divorced after a long legal battle in which I lost custody of my children, something I never imagined could happen. I carry a great deal of guilt over the entire issue and feel a great deal of loss.

Did the gamble turn out as a win? Well, I have my honesty now which is a big plus. However I paid dearly with the loss of loved ones along the way.
Andy Kurzenberger, Waukegan, IL, USA



THE GREATEST gamble I ever took was at the age of 20 when I decided to leave university and embark on a life of faith. My inner voice said, ‘You will have a different kind of education.’ And indeed it was, education in the School of Life.

One reason that it was such a big gamble was that some members of my family were dead against my decision and I had been very dependent on their approval. I had been brought up to think that university education was the only way to go. It represented family approval, personal achievement, pride and security.

The other road represented a living faith with a price to pay. It took me to Africa and South America, to name but a few of the places I grew to love and understand in a way that reading about those places would never have achieved. I don’t have a university degree but I have a faith that works.
Cathy Montrose, Drymen, Scotland


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What book from the last hundred years has meant most to you?
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For A Change is an interactive magazine for building trust across the world's divides. It is published by Initiatives of Change - International