Go! Go! Go! was the verbal assault pounding in the back of my head as my friends urged me to take the leap off of the cliff into the waters below. I didn’t want to jump. Honestly, I was terrified. I didn’t like heights. I wasn’t sure how the impact of the water would feel on my bare feet and possibly on my back or stomach if I got a little off balance. I didn’t want to be brave in that moment and the fears in front of me were louder than the voices behind me. However, the fear of missing out and the stories of others who had gone before me propelled me off the cliff. It was exhilarating! I hit the water and came back to the surface exploding with triumph and pride over what I had accomplished. I conquered my fears and went for it.. and it was worth it.
Go Bold! Bold seems like such a powerful word. To actually go bold assumes courage and bravery, fighting fears, getting outside of my comfort zone. All of those characteristics I want to be true of me. But if I’m honest, too many times I can put on a brave face while on the inside rages a lack of courage. I can tell people to fight their fears but mine seem to keep me paralyzed. I know it’s time to meet new people, do something different, change my rhythms, but I am so comfortable just doing what I am doing.
To be totally transparent, my lack of courage, fears within, and my commitment to comfort, are the things I despise most about me. I know there is more life to live, more people to meet, more causes to fight for. I need to tap into the truth spoken by God to Joshua as he was taking over for Moses and leading the people of God into the promised land.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
I need to be reminded of these words as I go bold in 2017! What a great reminder as I step out of my comfort zone that “the Lord my God is with me.”
So for me, I’m making some space in my life, carving out some time, to go for it. To go for what, you ask? Whatever God prompts. It’s most likely different for each of us. I am practicing listening to the Holy Spirit as he prompts me to Go! Go! Go! across the street, into a deep conversation, to meet a need, to share the hope of Jesus. And in order to do this, I realize I need to do two things:
1. Creating Margin: I have to create some margin in my busy schedule. I need to do this before I even start listening to the Holy Spirit because it is so easy for me to respond by saying, “I don’t have time right now to do anything about that.” I know it sounds really selfish, but that can too often be my response. I don’t like it but it’s true. I realize I need to be proactive with my calendar to make space so I can go bold.
2. Listening: I know I can be too distracted on my own to notice who or what is around me in a meaningful way. I need to practice listening to the Holy Spirit’s prompts to go. Typically that looks like a strong feeling that I must do something about what I see or who I see. I need to get better at listening and obeying those promptings, but I am starting to see clearer. I am quicker to recognize a need and respond to it.
What about you? Are you ready to conquer your fears, get outside of your comfort zone and go bold? I’ve been praying for you and for myself that God would give us hearts of compassion like we see in Jesus as recorded by Matthew:
When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:36-38
Go! Go! Go! You won’t regret it.
– Chris Alston, West Campus Pastor