How many times did your parents warn you to ‘be careful’ when you were a kid? I lost track of the number after a few weeks. They must say it a number of times to each of their children every day! Perhaps they are still saying it to you even though you are now an adult. Some habits take a long time to die!

The thing about this piece of advice is that it is good advice sometimes but not so good at other times. Or perhaps I should say that we do not want to interpret it so strictly that we never take any risks in our lives. Some things are never achieved without certain risks being involved. Every relationship between two people has an element of risk to it! What if one of the people changes his/her mind? What if the person moves a long way away from where you live making communication virtually impossible? There is a never-ending list of ‘what ifs!’ The point is to begin a relationship is a risky business! If we are not willing to take a risk, we would not be able to get out of bed in the morning!

God takes risks all the time. Perhaps the biggest risk e took was in giving us free will! He leaves us in control of the way in which we choose to use the many gifts and talents He bestows upon us. We are responsible for how we use them for the benefit of the Kingdom of God, for others and for ourselves.

Jesus reminds us of this through the parable of the gifts and talents. Ask any businessman and he will tell you that to make money you have to be prepared to take risks as to how, when and where you invest it. The same is true of our spiritual lives. We must be careful how we invest our gifts and talents in order to maximize the fruits that they will bear. Hopefully we will choose wisely and thus find ourselves walking through open doors into God’s Kingdom.

The constant warning given to us as children by our parents to ‘be careful,’ is great advice when taken in the right spirit. It is an exhortation to discern our path and actions well before embarking on a journey or course of action that will have a bad end.

How well do I discern the decisions that I make? Do I think about them carefully or rush in without much thought?

Lord Jesus, help me to realise the level of seriousness with which I need to undertake the various decisions of my life. Grant me the grace to know and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in all these important matters so that at the end of my life you will find that it has born good fruit.