I am afraid of failure.
Those who are attuned enough to their inner reactions, and take a moment to process why they react the way they do to certain things, may resonate with me on this. Sometimes my inner reaction to disappointing someone is anger. I can’t stand the thought of someone being offended by me...so much so that I get ultra-defensive when I am accused of such. They must be in the wrong... Other times, the feeling I get is a brutal sick-to-my-stomach feeling. Do you know about that one?
I live a lie.
It’s as if somewhere along the way, the idea of being able to be perfect was attached to me. I strive and strive to please my wife, my family, my co-labors at church, the parents of high school students I partner with, my friends, the bands I serve, the skeptics I bump into...and God. ...the list goes on and on. I never achieve my self-inflicted expectation, as you may have imagined. And only now has the weight become so heavy.
I am paralyzed.
Recently, there has been this inner stirring in my soul that only God can give. It’s that nagging leading voice that you only hear when you allow yourself to listen; when you stop for a moment. God is telling me He wants to rip this fear out of me. For too long, I have been paralyzed by how others will perceive me if I attempt to reflect the God truth I know and His glory to the world.
His yoke is easy.
Having something so heavy on one’s back certainly keeps one from moving efficiently and being affective. I passionately labor day-in and day-out. And I am tired. Carrying the Gospel is so hard when you worry about the perception of others. I continue forward because I am commanded to, but I often feel like my feet are digging a hole in one place as I step; a grave... I am getting nowhere. I often question in all of my efforts, am a really pointing people to Jesus? Or am I so concerned that they will tune me out if I get too preachy...?
His sacrifice is sufficient.
The idea that I can be perfect in my actions has long been dispelled for me; mostly by my own internal self-observance. I embrace the part of the Gospel that covers our sins, once and for all. But it’s the idea that I can be perfect in my service to God that I struggle with. I don’t let the Gospel cover that part. I love Him so much and want to be so faithful to Him that just the thought of failing in life ministry (whatever failing is) is something I can’t stand. So I walk forward, cautiously, taking as few of risks as possible.
He is freedom to move.
Until today, I have been unable to jump. My back hurts from the load. But I am ready. Occasionally I tell bands I meet (but only when they ask, ha) to figure out how they can use their opportunities to bring glory to God. ...but I don’t do that. I am too afraid. I am afraid that apathetic jaded band dudes will write me off as just another “Christian band advocate”. (We can try to define that later; could be fun) But I do whole-heartedly buy in to the idea that we are created for a purpose; the purpose of reflecting God’s glory to the world.
So what’s next for me?
This blog entry that will eventually find a blog home, is baby-step #1 for me. It is for the purpose of observing God’s hand in my life, and sharing it with those that stumble on to it. Call them “God Sightings”, or something more hipster if you want. Whatever resonates.
I only want you to see Him; how He redeems my brokenness, how he blesses my family. As you watch it, may you be challenged to recognize and embrace His loving involvement in your life, and be motivated to reflect His goodness and glory to the world in a way that is bold and life-changing to those around you.