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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What Have You Got to Lose?

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Almost two years ago I wrote a scene in my novel manuscript where some dude explained Pascal’s Wager to a group of college guys. I’d planned this scene months before I put fingers to keys to record it. Shortly after that, I received the long-awaited Third Day Move CD in the mail and quickly shoved it in my player to listen. Eight tracks in, out come these words, “What have you got to lose,” and I gasped. The theme of the song fit perfectly with that of the scene I’d just written. And now, it plays in my head every time I read it.

So, let me tell you about Pascal.

Pascal was a Frenchman. He had lots of friends who were gamblers, so he talked of belief in God and Jesus in terms of probability of the highest payout. He said you have two choices: believe in God, or don’t.

If you believe in God and you’re wrong, you would have lived a purpose-filled life and have lost nothing. If you’re right, you will have lived a purpose-filled life and will live in peace for the next.

Sounds good to me.

On the other hand, if you don’t believe in God and you’re correct, you’ve gained absolutely nothing. But if you’re not …

You lose everything!

In my manuscript, the main character is jolted from his musical meanderings (having been playing guitar in the background while the discussion rolled on) and challenges the speaker. Being a man who values truth, the idea of believing in something just to hedge his bets rankled him to the core. He liked to believe things because they were true.

The speaker answers him. “But don’t you think with those odds, you ought to at least check it out?”


Then, maybe … I should try to pray. So what if my words only swirl into the clouds and mingle with the humidity before they vaporize into nothing? Or might they actually be heard by an all-knowing, powerful God?

How about I read the Bible in context, rather than allow others to offer carefully extracted excerpts chosen to serve their own purposes? And would it hurt to step out and follow some small part of God’s plan and see what happens, regardless of what The World tells us to do?

Would God punish us for that? Would The World punish us?


We take on other challenges with risks like starting new jobs and even jumping out of airplanes. So I ask you, why not check it out? I mean, really …

What have you got to lose?

See why this is one of Cathy Payton’s favorite songs.

Related Posts:

The Gomer Testimonies

Robyn C’s Journey to God

Rachel Rutledge

Greg Holt

Gomer Inspired Music Devotionals:

Consuming Fire

Rise Up



  1. Connie, you may want to consider WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO LOSE for a title for your mss. :)

  2. Elaine, this is only a small part of the novel and one of the many ways God uses to touch this character ... as is often the case with our wonderful Creator. Originally, I conceptualized the scene only to get to know a part of the musician whose improvisational skills were so honed, he could play what he called "mood music" while others argued. Then, I heard about Pascal's Wager, and it became so much more. In the scene he picks his strings to the tunes of all kinds of music, from "Spanish Romance" and Santana's "Earth's Cry, Heaven's Smile" to "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and "Highway to Hell." But of course, by the end of the novel, his meanderings flow into a few Third Day songs as well. God is so good!!!

  3. Beautiful song and story, Connie. Thank you for sharing this.

    To me the Third Day song and story of Pascal can have an even deeper meaning. The song reminds me of Cornelius in Acts 10. Cornelius was a Gentile. In fact, Cornelius is the first non-Jew mentioned in the Bible that was baptized and received the Holy Spirit. He and all of his family were devout and God-fearing. He gave to the needy and prayed regularly. He really did not have anything left to prove that he was living a life for God. The life of Cornelius shows us that if we live our life trying to please God rather than please mankind, we can then hear His call to action. Cornelius was called to action to do and be more for God because he was already doing everything that he knew to do to please God. God let Cornelius know that he had more to prove and more to do. We all can become comfortable in our walk with God. We like to sit in the same spot in church every week. We pray whenever it is convenient or only when there is a problem facing us or our loved ones. We can make excuses to make ourselves feel better when we don't do something that would please God. If we take a step towards God or do something to please God and not ourselves or others, what have we got to lose? :-) God bless, sister!

    1. Wow, Chris! You spoke to exactly where I am right now. In fact, I'm deeply embedded in Acts for the second time in recent months and just read that story. I have definitely become too complacent in my faith over the years. This website was one way to change that. I hoped to encourage others in their faith. But then ... God pushed me to change it some more. I was compelled to give it a more ACTIVE feel, changing the tagline and look. I hope to do more than just encourage Christians in their walk, but encourage them to do MORE than walk--too MOVE those around them. I know, that is the title of a Third Day CD ;o). Coincidentally, your testimony "How God Got My Attention," was the first post to "wear" the new look and tagline. Thank you for that.