Joining us today is Cassandra Frear. I "met" her on Twitter, then found her blog http://www.moonboatcafe.com/. She is a lovely lady & a gifted writer. Her profile states she is a "wife, mother, gardener, hiker, writer... walking the path ... and finding the joy poured out .... It's a good life." Today, she's sharing a post about obstacles and how we can respond to them.
I' ve been turning this idea around in my mind for weeks. I'm at a crossroads in my life.
What if I just leaped the next wall and started? What if I just started writing what was on my heart? What if I stopped thinking about what someone else might expect? What if I stopped worrying about what publishers might be looking for? What if I just wrote the book that I must write -- you know, the one that if I don't write, I will regret it when I lay dying?
I've looked back and seen where I took great risks and did "okay." I leaped a wall, I fought a hard fight, I'm still standing at the end -- but I didn't actually gain the things I really wanted from it. Somehow, I missed what was required to be fully successful. I'm clueless about what else I could have done or should have been.
When I turn and look at my future, what do I see? More risks. More uncertainty. Another series of challenges. This is not the best time for leaping over any walls. Best to hunker down and wait for better conditions.
Yes, I can see how the landscape is on the other side. I can see beauty and adventure and mystery waiting there. But there's danger, too. I need to be strong to travel, and I'm not.
Besides, I haven't had the heart for leaping a wall again.
I can't decide which is worse: to try with all my might and fall short, or to decide to let the opportunity pass me by. I can't determine, by looking from this spot, whether trying with all my might, facing fears, and leaping walls make my life any better. I know enough to figure that the cost will be higher than my estimate and the rewards will be less satisfying than I hope.
You see, I've been here before. I've taken the leap, made the plunge, took the chance. And yes, it was good. But not great. I lost things on the way, things I'll never get back. We can't go leaping walls and think we're always going to land in a bed of roses. It doesn't work that way. Not in a fallen world. Leaping isn't a path to paradise. More often it's a path to battle.
This is the challenge for those of us who have already leaped walls and fought good fights: how to go on. How to do it again as though we're doing it for the first time. We weigh the cost. We consider what we know. We've already discovered it won't always make our lives better.
But I know this. It makes me better. Not more successful. Not stronger or braver or more competent in any way. No. Instead, it changes my heart. It humbles me. It makes me more compassionate and more aware of others. It makes me better at loving.
Why this is, I cannot say. But the person God wants me to become is on the other side of this wall. I could leap over, or not. He leaves the choice to me. It isn't success He's after. It's my character. I remember his words to me, returning from years ago to refresh my soul. They pour over me like a song.
For it is you who light my lamp;
the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great. (Psalm 18 ESV)
In the end, it is God's gentleness that makes me great -- makes me more like him. But I must do my part. We are partners, God and I. He looks to me to do what only I can do. I must leap the wall, run the path, fight the good fight in front of me. And there, I'll find my true reward, the one that can't be taken away.
How do you get yourself over a wall?
Text , copyright 2010 by Cassandra Frear.