10 Risks of Exploration

I thought I would post a short list of what I consider are dangers to any exploration, including intellectual, philosophical, pastoral or theological. Even though I am exploring theology and pastoral ministry from the comfort and security of my chair in front of my computer in a warm study, there are still serious issues to consider. Although I have had people laugh in my face when I've found inspiration in explorers like J. Michael Fay, Ernest Shackleton, and David Thompson, I continue to look to these courageous people for encouragement to continue in my search. There are many others that inspire me from the comfort of their study rooms, like David Bohm, Thomas Merton, Calvin, Krishnamurti, Einstein. Understand, I do not compare myself to these magnificent people. But they are allowed to inspire me to explore the frontier before me as a pastor. So, even though I experience no threat to life and limb, I want to list out a few of the risks involved when one decides to search for, explore and walk their own path. Again, these are generalizations and aren't always applicable to every explorative endeavor:
  1. The more incredible the exploration, the more difficult to get funding.
  2. You will leave friends and family behind.
  3. People will ridicule you.
  4. Your team will struggle, suffer and sometimes surrender. Some will return to base.
  5. Supplies and resources will diminish the further and longer you journey from base.
  6. There will be no maps to guide you. You create them.
  7. Endorsements will drop the longer the exploration takes.
  8. Disillusioned by the culture you left, you run the risk of "going native".
  9. Inner doubts and fears will sometimes become overwhelming.
  10. Your discoveries, even if important, may not be well received right away, if ever.

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