I got a message from a family in desperate need and I was so sad that I couldn’t just write out a check for the exact amount to help them out. It got me thinking…how long have I been dancing around the bonfire instead of igniting my potential and letting the sparks fly? How long have I chosen job security and ended up with no ‘time’ to write? Did I say sad? I meant pathetic!
People are depending me, on us, generations are depending on what we do today. With our gifts and talents, we can change the fortunes of our families first, then cities and nations…and why not? I am preaching to myself and the choir because every “what ifs” can be replaced with “here’s what”. These are the two main excuses we give ourselves:
Fear is as natural as scratching an itch, it’s there to trigger a response either to flee from legitimate danger or to recognize an opportunity to stretch ourselves.
Fearful thoughts or a twisted mindset makes people abdicate the responsibility of developing their talents. Many ‘babies’ have been starved to death or buried alive. Like the lazy servant did in the Bible parable – he hid his one talent and incurred his master’s wrath.
His defense was:
“I was AFRAID so I went and buried the talent in the ground.”
FEAR. Enough said.
Or not… the master called him wicked. He called the lack of his growth, wicked as in – capable of harming someone or something or allowing an extremely unpleasant situation to exist.We are created for good works that inspire, evoke emotions, expose injustice, or use our resources to feed an extra striving child etc. and our gift is the vehicle that takes us to unbelievable destinations.
Fear strolls in with its posse or an extended family of uncles, aunts and cousins who insist on coming to the party, you might recognize them as procrastination, anxiety, worry, agitation, apprehension, timidity, cowardice and grandpa funk!
“You do not need to shrink difficulties and act as if they do not exist. Just don’t magnify them.” Dr. Eric R. Maisel, Ph.D.
Pursing goals and dreams can be scary and gut-wrenching hard work. Fear uses lies like – Nobody cares, Who do you think you are, You are wasting your time, and on and on…to defeat our purpose and keep us small.
Instead of bolting or perpetuating the lies, we can reign in our thinking, meditate, be still for a moment then keep moving – be the peace within the chaos. Like Steven Pressfield advises, recognize the resistance for what it is, but go ahead and do it anyway.
We esteem the gifts and positions of other people and devalue ours thinking that they are mundane and not as special. I can’t win a singing contest to save my life, but I can write. But I’ll revere a voice like Celine Dion’s and not think much of my innate ability to structure, plot, and craft a story.
Just like Esau, when he despised his birthright trading it to Jacob for a bowl of stew when he came home famished. He said, “Look I am about to die (of hunger), what good is the birthright to me?” That’s how people reason: this —- (fill in your blanks) cannot possibly sustain me!
“…All who make wages will be troubled of soul” Isaiah 19:10 ; “…And he who earns wages, earns wages to put in a bag with holes.” Haggai 1:6
There is nothing wrong with wages, It has its place. It should be for seasons and transitions, not for life because it is never enough! I know God wants better for us than a dead-end job with fixed income, so we’ve got to define our “works” and not just work to pay bills and barely survive. And I think that’s why creative people with regular jobs have “hobbies”. Our hands and minds are wired to be creative and our imagination is always reaching for what we are too scared to say out loud.
I mentioned my love for writing to a senior manager in my former office and the response was, “Good for you, but how will that put food on the table?” What is it with food? The norm is full tummies but malnourished souls.
Until success comes, everybody else puts on blinders but we have to doggedly believe in ourselves.
The acorn doesn’t worry if there will be enough room for its humongous trunk and wide-spread branches, it just shoots up without a care, catching a breeze here and there. So should we…day by day,word by word, page by page.We have to believe that the talent was given for a purpose and that there are people waiting and depending on us to show up.