I am reading Scorecasting right now. It is a book about the hidden influence behind sports. It shows how tradition, in fact, flies in the face of the facts. It shows how the pressure to be right often causes us to make the safe but less-than-optimal choice because failure is worse than a success not reached.
For instance, in most cases, a coach is statistically better off going for a first down on most fourth downs rather than punting. But coaches have come to believe that it is better to miss success than risk failure in an unconventional (but statistically more profitable) choice. Same is true with benching a star basketball player when he gets 5 fouls (fearing he will foul out,) returning him to play only late in the game. Statistics show that teams score more with that player staying in, even if he subsequently fouls out. Once again, coaches pay no heed to statistics (or success,) instead keeping with tradition and the possibility of looking foolish if it does not work. In both cases, conventional "failure" is avoided at the expense of winning more often.
I must admit, Jesus employed the same kind of "whoppers." Give up your life and you get it. Lead through serving. Love no matter what. First is last and last is first. Forgive. Seek God and everything else will take care of itself. Take time off. The "wise" of this age are foolish.
How often, for fear of bucking conventional culture or looking foolish, do we thumb our nose at God and do what pleases the crowd? And are less well off?
God's vote is for you to thrive. Play to an audience of one today: God. And live. Encourage fellow Followers to join you in bucking the crowd. To worship each Sunday, to take time to pray and read scripture, to forgive, to serve, to give generously. To the world, these seem like stupid moves but you will not fail.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10b