top of page

"Don't be too careful..."

“Don’t be careless but don’t be too careful. You can’t be afraid to lose.”

~Coach Orion (The Mighty Ducks 3)

I love quotes of all kinds because writers have the innate ability to put words to the emotions the rest of us can’t quite seem to express. One of my favorite movie quotes, and pieces of advice, comes from the third Mighty Ducks movie…

“Don’t be careless but don’t be too careful. You can’t be afraid to lose.”

Definitely a great piece of life advice but when you see this scene a second time, knowing Coach Orion’s story, you can’t help but be moved. I’d seen this movie at least a dozen times before this concept really took hold. It impressed on me such a challenge that I stuck it on my desk in neon… unable to ignore.

You see, my life has been marked by overt carefulness until recently. Carefulness was almost a crutch to how I approached things. I was focused on preparation in a feeble attempt to save myself from any extra grief or anxiety. The irony being that this eventually caused me extra grief and anxiety just in different ways. Life is messy. It’s hard and uncomfortable and perplexing. It is also funny, exciting, joy-filled and promising. Our lives will hold so much throughout their course and no amount of preparation, perfectionism or tiptoeing will keep us perfectly safe. I think I can say with certainty now, that it may actually harm us.

As Christians we are called to be bold and courageous and even ridiculous at times. This is seen in doing the unexpected when others walk away. It’s witnessed in our willingness to show compassion and love when our emotions say no. It’s stepping out in faith when rationally we can’t make sense of our instructions or when they take us into waters where we’d prefer not to swim. However, we are never called to be careless. We aren’t to act first and ask forgiveness later. We aren’t called to be brash or thoughtless. We aren’t told to jump and pray for the Lord’s blessings on the way down.

I always thought that careless and careful were two sides of the same coin but they aren’t. It’s a sliding scale of choices made in the tiny little steps of our lives. Never careless but also, not too careful to be any good. Sometimes we, and of course I mean I, get so caught up in “winning” at life that we miss the actual doing of life. Actually, I think we’re more caught up in the fear of losing, much like Coach Orion said. If all you are focused on is how not to lose you’re going to miss a lot. Good news! I have a 100% foolproof method NOT to lose… you never get in the game but without being in the game you can’t win either.

It reminds me of this Christmas present I received one year. I was so excited to get my Bob Ross paint set because I’ve loved Bob Ross since I was a kid and the fact that I could get a set with everything I needed to follow along was just thrilling to me until I actually thought about it. I’d love to show you my painting but I never did it. Unfortunately, the whole kit was moved around closets for ages as I prepared myself to attempt the task. I organized all the supplies neatly in my storage chest. I got the perfect canvas as instructed by the manual. I even watched the DVD instructions several times to ensure I knew exactly what to expect when I put brush to paint. Then I chickened out…

I’ve always said that on the arts and crafts scale, I’m more craftsy than artsy which is why I wanted to do one of Bob’s paintings. He made it look so simple and cathartic but then I considered all the ways I could fail. I’d done those group painting studios before and I knew that my abilities were limited. I kept thinking I’ll do it next weekend or next summer. I’ll do it one day when I have lots of free time but I never did. I prepared and planned and never moved. While some of the preparation was necessary, like buying the kit or organizing the supplies, ultimately it didn’t matter because it wasn’t used. Our lives are meant to be that way.

I think I’m learning to take Coach Orion’s advice. I’m working to not be too careful in my life… not careless or haphazard but moving with boldness and obedience when led to do so. There’s something freeing about no longer caring about the “score” of life. Win or lose, I trust the Father’s plan and for me, that’s all the preparation I truly need.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Instagram
  • Facebook Basic Square
bottom of page