What do you dream of accomplishing in your lifetime? What would you do if money wasn’t a hindrance? Do you sense a deep calling to a mission or ministry to help others in some way? Do you have a story to tell, a talent to share, but doubt if anyone will care? What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would the world miss if you never realized your vision? What are the alternatives if your story or mission stays hidden inside your heart?
What great things will go undone…. because of FEAR?
These are questions I’ve been asking myself lately. I’m quite adept at often sacrificing the important for the urgent. That laundry won’t do itself, you know, and those unread emails are piling up quickly! I’m not one to sit idle, but I (like most humans, I’m guessing) will usually opt for the menial task that requires little thought or risk, over a more difficult or emotionally and mentally taxing project, however worthy. Human nature usually chooses the path of least resistance, so we will settle for a task we feel confident to accomplish successfully and within a short time frame.
If you’re like me, (as I’m finally sitting down to write this blog), there are truly significant and potentially life-changing endeavors to which we feel called, but we’ve procrastinated for various reasons — for a very long time. I am GUILTY, as charged. How about you? Our fear often masquerades itself in ways such as:
- Worrying what others will think
- Anger/Anxiety / Depression
- Feeling inadequate
- Perfectionism & pride
- Family demands
- Fear of failure
- Fear of committing to the task, perseverance
My sixth generation great-grandfather, John Hart, was one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, which sparked the Revolutionary War between England and the thirteen colonies of the fledgling America. Like the others, John Hart and his family took a great risk to sign that document penned by Thomas Jefferson. In June of 1778, my grandfather invited General George Washington and his troops to stay at his farm for three days, right before the Battle of Monmouth, a pivotal battle during the war. Twelve thousand hungry and exhausted men consumed food, cattle, firewood (which had once been the fence that took my grandfather two years to build), and everything he owned. General Washington dined with my grandfather in the dining room of Hart’s house, still standing (and still a private residence) in Hopewell, NJ.
After being chased by the British “red coats” during the bitter winter for several months, John Hart died of “privation”. However, his risk, his hospitality, was instrumental in changing the course of world history! It was truly a sacrifice, but one worth making. Freedom weighed in the balance – both religious and geo-political freedom. Sovereignty and self-determination were at stake. It was a price — an alternative– too high not to pay.
Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
When God prompted my husband and I to adopt two siblings from foster care in 2009 (adding to our 8 children), it didn’t make sense to our small minds. But He enlarged our hearts and we took a risk. We realized that the alternatives of doing nothing were not something we could live with. We knew it was our calling, and that His grace would sustain us as we obeyed. (See the video “Always Be Mom and Dad”: https://youtu.be/p16nvzOoRcA )
Challenge: Do you have a dream or aspiration that is yet unrealized? What factors are keeping you from making it happen? REPLY in the comments — I really want to know!