The Risk of Trying Something New

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“I should have NEVER agreed to do this,” I said to myself as I drove into downtown Wilmington Thursday afternoon. Earlier in the week I had accepted the invitation of Rev. Ernie Thompson to be his guest at the annual First Presbyterian Men’s Oyster Roast. The only problem was that I have never tried those slippery, soupy molluscs. Driving with Ernie to the oyster roast I was really nervous. “What happens if I throw up…or gag…or do something equally embarrassing in front of all the men of First Pres Wilmington,” I thought to myself?

Arriving at the oyster roast I could feel my heart beating a little faster. Ernie took me out back, introducing me to the brave souls in charge of steaming the oysters. Looking at those calcified shells I realized the truth of the words of Johnathan Swift who purportedly said: “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”


Within a few minutes Ernie and I stood in front of a long table with a mount of steaming oyster shells ready to be cracked open. The moment of truth had arrived. I swallowed hard, knifed open a shell, liberally dipped the gooey slug in hot sauce and proceeded to eat my very first oyster. And guess what? It tasted great! To my great surprise, I discovered I liked oysters!


I guess it’s a good that I like oysters given that I now live in the Wilmington area because there are a lot of oyster shacks in this sea-side city. What is far better, however, is that I took the risk to try something new. I think taking risks is part of what makes for a life well lived. When I read the story of Jesus in the gospels I’m struck by how often Jesus invites his followers to take risks. Shortly before Peter walks on water, Jesus says: “Take courage, it is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27).

If you are reading this blog and up for a little risk-taking, ask yourself: Where might the Lord be whispering in my ear: “Take courage…don’t be afraid.”  Faith is always found at the intersection of fear and trust. So is the Lord! So is my new-found love of oysters! Thanks Ernie!


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  1. Way to go Doug! That is how I felt the first time I had crab, and we know how that turned out. Starting a new church is one of those risk taking moments in your life. It takes strength and courage for the leaders and those who are searching. Trust in God’s plan and He will give you strength.

    1. You should know about starting a new church, Linda! After all you were the glue that held Tyger River together from the beginning. I really miss you and Ralph.

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