Its been a while. Its been too long since I've popped open the old laptop, turned off my mind, and let my fingers go for a romp over the keyboard. And I can tell you why. But first let me tell you what it isn't because of.
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It isn't because I haven't had time. With a full-time job and four little kids at home time is an easy scapegoat excuse, but the truth is that I can't even recount how many solitaire and word games I've played on my phone over the past 20 days or so. Even writing that sentence is convicting and shameful for me.
It also isn't because I haven't had things to say or express. Even in the passing glances I have given to the thoughts God has led me to recently there has been beauty and significance and depth. Sadly, I may never know how truly wonderful those things could have been.
Here's the only reason why I (and maybe you) haven't been diligent with the things God has placed in our hearts this month. Fear.
Let me paint a picture of the fear I'm talking about and how it plays out in reality. More than anything else in my life and mind, I have an indescribable affinity to and joy in _____ (you fill in the blank; my word is writing). That ___ right there is our gift from God. Its our calling. Now callings require work. They don't just magically, passively happen or fulfill themselves. But, what if I try and fail? What if I break my calling? What if I can't make it work? What if?
Those questions require answers (or at least they appear to). Let me get those settled before I jump into anything. Finding answers also requires a lot of work. So, that exertion of effort feels like progress, but in reality it is misguided and futile. Well never have a drawn-up flow chart of how to take what is within us and turn it into something valuable outside of us.
So we spin our wheels looking for answers to our prerequisite questions in order to figure out the best way to employ our gifts and fulfill our callings. But all that effort is tiring and, because it is in vain, we reckon perhaps there's another thing I'm supposed to be doing. Maybe there is an option out there that I can figure out prior to jumping in.
Now we're spending our time (see, time is aplenty now!) engaging our thought with alternatives to the thing we really want to do and know we should do if we could just figure out how to do them right. All the while, my cursor is flashing on my screen. Waiting. Ready. Perhaps, longing. Definitely being neglected.
And there's the fear cycle that turns 20 days of opportunity into 20 days of emptiness.
But, fear is a tricky thief because it can get you coming or going. There's a flip side to this paralyzing fear of failure. Its the fear of success. And it sounds exactly like it did before. What if ? What if I do start that business and it succeeds? Is that really what I want to do? What if I'm stuck succeeding at what I don't care about?
It sounds the same because it's the same voice and it leads to the same place. The desert.
Fear fights it's battles a day at a time. Therefore, so must we.
First, ditch the exercise of trying to figure out the ends and means from the beginning. Waste of time. You are going to live your life faithfully, responsively, and wisely before an always good God. Making changes mid-course is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it's why those seemingly all-important answers are so elusive. Devoid of action, wisdom is useless. Like a rudder on a boat that's not moving.
Second, do something. Anything. Act. And planning/brainstorming/analyzing don't count. If I looked at you through the window I should be able to tell what your calling is. It won't be perfect. But it will be a start, and tomorrow it will be closer to perfect.
Third, today is the day. Today is what you have. Win today. Heck, win this hour. This minute. Stop reading this and start ___ . That's my prayer for you. And I'd ask that it would be your prayer for me as well.
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Posted in Churches/Faith/Religion Post Date 01/31/2017