Fear. It’s an interesting thing when it comes to leadership. My last post made a few people think I was afraid to step out in faith – afraid to do what God has called me to do. It’s true! I’m afraid. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of walking away from a regular paycheck one day to follow this dream. I’m afraid of not being able to provide for my wife and child. I’m afraid I am misinterpreting God. I’m afraid of a whole bunch of things.
But (and maybe I should make that a great BIG “BUT”)
I’m even more afraid of just living from one day to the next – just existing. I’m more afraid of not being faithful in the little things and therefore forfeiting the amazing dreams God has for me. I’m more afraid of disappointing Him and of not being all that He has called me to be. I’m afraid of not drinking in the whole of God’s plan for me – of missing out on something. This is the kind of fear I can live with. And you know what I call that kind of fear?? I call it faith.
Anne Lamott talks about how fear and faith live together. Some people say that those two can’t be in the same room, but for me (and for her too) I’ve never stepped out on faith and not had fear lurking somewhere. Isn’t that what faith is? Stepping out in spite of the fear? Or even stepping into the fear?
This quote is appropriate to me. It’s my prayer that my life can reflect the ideas represented here.
It’s a famous quote which is sometimes wrongly attributed to Nelson Mandela from Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so
that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other
people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”
I am afraid that God has made me “powerful beyond measure” and that I won’t live into it. I do not plan on “playing small” or “shrinking” but I plan to at least attempt to “make manifest the glory of God that is within me.” I hope that as I do it, others including my own son Kasen, will be “liberated from his fears” too. I hope to instill a sense of calling, adventure, and courage in him. And even if I fail in regards to chasing this church plant lion, it will still accomplish this: Kasen will have known a father who eagerly and persistently pressed on to God’s call. And I believe that will be enough to inspire and encourage him to chase his dreams and lions.
I will live my life in fear – fear of not being all God wants me to be. And because of this fear, I will live by faith – faith in the one who is calling me, Jesus Christ.