Nothing ventured, nothing gained is a life-style I’ve often thought about. Joseph Smith exemplified it when he read in the Bible to ask of God for knowledge. He thought about it and then went to a quiet grove of trees to see for himself if prayers really worked. Nothing ventured, nothing gained indeed.
Added to my list of many I’ve thought about is Gideon when he was asked to fight the Midianites who were numbered as the sands of the sea. He took his small army of 300 to fight for the right. He knew he didn’t have enough bodies in his army to fight a fair fight but God had told him what to do and he ventured to the task. (Judges 6-8)
Mary and Martha were great women who lived this in their lives. David was another when he went to fight Goliath – now obviously David knew he didn’t have the physical strength to fight the mighty giant Goliath. He also knew he had God on his side. So off he went, a mere boy, with his rock and sling to slay the mightiest man in the kingdom.
Now I don’t pretend to stand anywhere near these men and women of the Scriptures – yet over the years I’ve realized the life-style of nothing ventured, nothing gained is one of great importance to me.
To illustrate this principle in my own life: There was a time when I was feeling misplaced. Oh I was happy enough, I had a wonderful husband and seven great children, still something seemed to be lacking. I needed more than these “four” walls. Although college came to mind I was anxious about that idea because of my shyness. However, I ventured forth and it was one of the single most important things I’ve ever done for myself. I would never have fully understood myself or my own worth had I not gone to college.
While seated in my kitchen one day, I had a scene pop into my mind that I thought could be the opening scene of a novel. I mulled it around for a week or so and when it kept coming to me I ventured forth and started the process of writing a novel. I’ve worked on it for years, nevertheless it’s been a growing process and venture I would never have thought possible of myself.
Another venture was when I took up oil painting. It started from a TV painting show and thinking I would like to try it. I borrowed the tools to do my first painting and I eventually took classes on painting.
One day my son, whom had gone to Mexico City on a mission for our church, asked me to do a painting of the Mexico pyramids. I wailed that I didn’t know how to paint pyramids! Then one day it came to me – “nothing ventured, nothing gained” I realized that IF I never tried to paint a pyramid, then certainly I couldn’t paint one. I decided that I would try it but not tell my son what I was doing – if it didn’t turn out, I could destroy it and he would never know. I prayed and studied pictures of the pyramids in Mexico again and again until I finally took a paint brush and slathered it with paint. Although it didn’t come easy or without frustrations – I persevered with everything I had. When finished I liked it reasonably well and gave it to my son for Christmas that year. He was surprised and overjoyed.
One more example was when I was asked to write a play for the commemoration of the Relief Society organization of our church. I said I had never written a play and didn’t know the first thing about writing one. However I agreed - then read books about the R.S. so I could write a plausible play. Again I prayed unceasingly. I not only wrote the play but directed it as my ward members put it on in honor of the Relief Society Centennial birthday.
I’m now a member of American Night Writers Association which helps me gain a better understanding of writing. I’ve started another novel and written several children’s stories, which I hope one day to have published. Yes, if you never venture forth to try new challenges in life, you may never gain the potential of your God given talents and purpose in this life. Okay lesson learned – now to just remember and apply it more frequently.
“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” ~Helen Keller