The Crime of Living Cautiously

The Crime of Living Cautiously

Hearing God's Call to Adventure

by Luci Shaw

The Crime of Living Cautiously
  • Length: 140 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: April 06, 2005
  • Item Code: 3280
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3280-4

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Unexpectedly, the moment of opportunity comes to us--the prospect of entering a reality larger than we'd guess. A spacious option opens up before us, an urgent demand that seems to call for special enterprise, life-threatening perils or summons to action. Suddenly we realize that such a chance might never come again.

What do you do when faced with such a moment? Do you sometimes get frozen into a state of inaction? Do you wonder if you are wasting the talents God has given you? Or if you enjoy adventure, do you struggle over whether a risk is just a reckless attempt to feed your own needs or a true calling from God?

Luci Shaw has learned to act with discernment in regard to motivation and calling. She has discovered a path of deep joy and fulfillment by risking the unknown in partnership with God. In this book you will find the way to break through the fear barrier and follow God to new levels.

"I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've been a fan of her poetry for many years; now she challenges me to live life on the edge. Bungee jumping at her age? I can feel the collective eyebrows rising. . . . "I, for one, needed the reminder that the Holy Spirit is often a cultural nonconformist, and the Christian life is meant to be innovative and exhilarating, a breathtaking journey; those opposed to risk need not apply."

David McFadzean, Wind Dancer Productions

"Strap in and launch yourself into wild blue yonder with Luci Shaw. Like all good poets she revels in paradox, which is why she understands the spiritual life as both stillness and movement, contemplation and adventure. As a spiritual test pilot, Luci Shaw has the right stuff."

Gregory Wolfe, Editor, Image journal

"I have known Luci Shaw first as a poet whose poetry invited attentiveness to specific moments, particular textures--in nature and in domestic spaces I recognized and loved; then I came to know her as a friend with a bracing, exuberant embrace of life which constantly challenged me to press on. Now, in these pages, she dashes on ahead and calls back over her shoulder, 'Dare! Double dare!' Here is an answer to pallid Christianity: as Luci richly demonstrates, living incautiously opens up all kinds of opportunities. Go ahead--read this book, be changed and challenged as l always am by reading Luci Shaw. I dare you."

Maxine Hancock, Ph.D., professor of interdisciplinary studies and spiritual theology, Regent College

"Whirling in midair, Luci Shaw cries to us to stop clinging to our perches and leap out into wind-borne flight. This widow/poet/grandmother/gardener/bungee-jumper hammers on our fear-shackles and sings of a joyful, faith-full adventure beyond."

John G. Stackhouse Jr., Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Culture, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada

"Luci Shaw does not live cautiously--her life is an exuberant romp in the things of creation. Nor does she write cautiously--her poetry is a dive into a pool of spirited (Spirit!) language. This witness, a fusion of personal stories and revealing poems, welcomes us into the fullness into which Christ calls us."

Eugene Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College

This book offers vivid insight into the challenges Christians face and the risks we are called to take as faithful believers. It points the way to a richer experience in Christian living as we learn to embrace risk as a moment of opportunity to respond to God's call.

Elizabeth Pearson for The Christian Librarian, volume 50.1, 2007


1 Living the Adventure
2 God's Call or My Impulse?
3 Breaking the Fear Barrier
4 The Risk of Relinquishment
5 The Risk of Dissent
6 The Risk of Relationship
7 The Risky Adventure of the Unknown
8 Risk-Takers for God: Our Human Heroes
9 Choosing to Live on the Edge
Poems Quoted


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Luci Shaw

Luci Shaw is a poet, an editor, a retreat leader, a lecturer, and the author of forty books, including Thumbprint in the Clay, The Adventure of Ascent, and The Genesis of It All. Luci and her husband live in Bellingham, Washington, where she enjoys sailing, tent camping, knitting, gardening, and wilderness photography.