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Sunday, 28 March 2010

putting away pride

well...today was a day for taking the risk! 

I find it quite hard to lie - as in blatant lies, the thought of building this web that becomes more and more intricate as you build lie after lie just to protect the original...only for it all to come crashing down...such a horrible thought! But we all live lives of dishonesty don't we!? Feelings we guard while we wear the smile on our faces, thoughts we daren't say out loud but are how we really feel. 

Today I had to swallow my pride and be honest about something.  I didn't seek out the opportunity to be honest, I'll admit. It crept up on me, attacked me by surprise. I had the chance to handle it in two ways. It felt like hitting a wall, one that looked a little insurmountable, one that I could have said what was needed to avoid the wall altogether and walk back the other way. I really shouldn't have been so surprised.  When you avoid things it's inevitable that if you want to keep moving forward you'll eventually come face to face with it again.

The thought of facing that situation again wasn't very nice. I was honest , in a painfully transparent way. But whilst it hurt it was sort of beautiful at the same time. It hurt my pride tremendously but in it I saw a friendship working out the way they were intended to, with a lot of love and mercy and communication!

After today, I hope that when I face the risk of being brutally honest again I weigh it up and realise the risk is worth it and that wall won't look so unconquerable.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

daring to venture

Nearly 3 months into 2010 and unlike previous years I'm stopping and thinking about my audacious expectations for this year. Typically I would, assuming is that I even got this far to begin with, see that its not worked and shrug my shoulders. I am determined, if not anything else, to have a totally different perspective it this time around.

Today I've spent some time thinking about being a risk taker.  Of course by this I  don't mean, the kind of foolishness that would hospitalise me or live me in big trouble because I'm not using my God-given common sense. No, rather I mean the godly, in tune-with-the-Holy-Spirit, shaking off my fear of being the fool, the world's opinions and my innate  desire to succeed and to please, kind of reckless abandon.

I remembering asking a friend of mine over new year what they were disappointed about in 2009. They replied that they risked nothing. That made me think! So, I put this at the top of my 2010 hope list because I spent so much of 2009 letting life pass me by. I've prophesied this over so many people. I'm claiming it for me this year and stirring my own spirit. I desperately want to dream big dreams, risky dreams. I want to step out when logic says no and the world says its impossible, but my trust and hope in Jesus says I can do all things. I want Matt and I to be risky with our finances.

And so far...?
It's been hard. Hard to let it filter into every facet of my life because I've caught myself closeting away areas that feel warm and fuzzy just as they are, thank you - very- much! Thanking the Holy Spirit though, that I'm not unconscious to it. I have seen  so obviously in my life, and others, what comes from stepping out with courage and seizing opportunities ; how it changes my reality ad transforms my spirit. At times it has led to something new and exciting, beyond what I could have hoped or realised for myself. Other times it hasn't led to any new circumstance but it has honored Jesus and strengthened that risk-taking muscle, that inevitably bringing continued fruit in my life! 

Most of my 'risk-taking' so far being in my prayer life and with task based opportunities. As I've stepped out in these things though, the Holy Spirit has been whispering areas of risk that I hadn't even contemplated, which clearly He had always intended! Whispers to love people who are hard to love, being transparently honest in everything I do, showing people mercy, being graceful even in the toughest of situations. It's certainly challenging! He's definitely presented me with many a chance to exercise this. I know I haven't.

This week I read a quote by C.S. Lewis. Quite aptly he writes, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point'.

I'm realising that courage, living life with that risk-taking quality, animates all  the other godly virtues Jesus taught us. His love for me didn't stop when it got dangerous. I don't want to show mercy until I think it becomes too hazardous. Where is the mercy in that? I don't want to love until its gets too risky for my reputation. Where is true love in that?

So...I'm going to keep going. Keep jumping out at opportunities and seizing them. But I'm going to push the boundaries of the fruits of the spirit and dare to be courageous in those too. Nervous, excited about what the Spirit will do in me, trusting in Jesus for all that I will need to do this. 

'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."