Sunday, October 14, 2012

{15} Free to Fail... so don't wait!

Sometimes, we use waiting as a cop-out.
We're waiting, so we disengage from life. Why even try?
This post is about counter-acting that dangerous attitude.  
Waiting is not passive. 
Some of the things we wait for are already within our God-given grasp.

My single friend shrugs and says he doesn’t need a wife. And he’s right. No one has to have a spouse. The apostle Paul revered singleness above marriage.

But his tone is telling, sharp, like a shard of shrapnel jutting from his obvious wound. His proclamation against marriage is less about preference and more about protection. He wraps walls around his heart like an ACE bandage.

Another friend asks if I want to become a writer. I look away and laugh. I already write. In my journals, on my blog. I always write.

Her eyes roll, unsatisfied. “You know what I mean. Do you want to become a writer? As a job?”

In a flash, my hopes rise, then crash. I imagine smiling as I dot the last beautiful period of a manuscript to send to publishers, only to have my desk swallowed by rejection letters.

I imagine acquaintances gathered around a glowing computer screen, reading one of my junk blog posts as they sneer, “She thinks she should be a writer?”

I shake my head and tell my friend that no, I doubt I’ll ever pursue writing formally.

My single friend and I, we lack courage. Cynicism masquerades as strength. We build buttresses made of negative promises. “I’ll never marry. I’ll never write. I’ll never try.” Arrows can’t pierce nonexistant dreams. 

We think we're ensuring a safe life, when instead we're ensuring a banal one.  Here is the irony:   The road to mediocrity is just as treacherous as the roads to either success or failure.   Foes like cancer, unemployment, or the loss of loved ones fly hissing at whomever they choose. We cannot put up our hand to them and say, “Excuse me, Disaster, but I picked the safe path. Please visit someone on that rocky street.”

We do not choose our life's level of ease.

For Christians, our inability to mitigate risk is actually a safety net.  By admitting we are not God, we leave room to trust the One who is.  As the weight of broken dreams buckles our knees weak, we find ourselves kneeling at the feet of our Mighty Savior. We're free to chase God-given desires with reckless abandon, because when we fall, it is into the Arms of Grace.

God does more than protect us from risk.  He allows us to fall prey to it.  He allows our hopes to shatter, our bodies to fail, His Son to die.  And when murder, sickness, and heartache have done their worst, God uses His mighty thumb to press them into submission until the very thing that threatened to destroy us instead leads us to the greatest gift in existance... the intimate enjoyment of our Father.
The trash of this world is the compost that fertilizes God's purposes.

God doesn't simply make beauty.  He creates light
     in the darkness,
grows trees
     from decay,
draws life
     out of bloody wombs,
and transforms us into His image
    through our every hardship.

We are free to fail. He shapes us by it. Uses it to draw us to Him.

And we are free to succeed. Success is nothing more than His strength in our weakness.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."   - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Dear God, thank You for this weakness called waiting.  Let us never use it as a pass to sit idly by, but an igniting fire that drives us ever into Your arms.
The weakness that drives us to Your arms then becomes our greatest success.


Please consider looking through the comments in this series 
and praying for our sisters who wait.


Waiting? Hurting? 
Have God-glorifying ideas for this series?
Comment or email me.
We'd love to pray for you all month.


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Today was Day 15 of
31 Days of Waiting:
Day 1     Day 2     Day 3     Day 4     Day 5     Day 6     Day 7     Day 8     Day 9     Day 10     Day 11     Day 12     Day 13     Day 14     Day 15     Day 16     Day 17     Day 18     Day 19     Day 20     Day 21     Day 22     Day 23     Day 24     Day 25     Day 26     Day 27     Day 28     Day 29     Day 30     Day 31

Life: Unmasked


Tereasa said...

I love that thought! He doesn't simply make beauty. He makes it in the least likely places! He is amazing.

Anonymous said...

"We're free to chase God-given desires with reckless abandon, because when we fall, it is into the Arms of Grace." I love this sentence, this truth. It was something I needed to hear, especially after feeling like I have failed at pursuing a good desire with abandonment. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. You are writer.

RACHEL said...

Tereasa, He is so amazing! He defies all human logic and is all the more praiseworthy for it.

And thanks to you anonymous commenters for being here, as well. I can't tell you how I love to hear from you!

Jessica Taylor said...

Nothing but amazing!! Just what I needed today!!!

Kel Rohlf said...

Rachel- Thank you for writing at your blog...I agree you are a writer...I hear your voice through your words, which is a gift and a crafted skill...keep strong and courageous...your words are a clarion call to me to keep at it...for myself, for God, for whoever might stop by and be encouraged to keep living, to keep writing, to keep dreaming...have you heard of Jumping Tandem:The Retreat?

It's a retreat designed for writers, dreamers, artists, bloggers, etc...

Amber V. said...

I read this holding my breath... it was so vivid, so real to me... you spoke right to my heart. I needed this... this all is so much bigger than me. Powerful reminder at just the right time... I know that He is transforming me in my waiting but it's the imagery that I need sometimes to pull it all together... He makes all things new. Thank you.

Jerralea said...

Wow - a lot of good stuff in your blog post! I liked when you said, "We're free to chase God-given desires with reckless abandon, because when we fall, it is into the Arms of Grace."

Love it!

MrsAshley said...

I couldn't have needed this more today! A publisher recently contacted me to write a book. It's been two weeks and I still have that deer in the headlights look. Thank you for your encouragement and I believe that you are a terrific writer!

Denise said...

Awesome post.

Tanya Marlow said...

'cynicism masquerades as strength' - wise words. I so often fall into this category, and even convince myself I'm strong, when actually I'm just fearing the rejection. At the moment I'm also battling the 'I could never get a book published' demons...

Thanks for this! Coming via Joy in this journey

RACHEL said...

Kel, yes I really want to go on that retreat!!! It's the plane ticket to Nebraska that has me scratching my head and looking at the budget wondering if we can make it work. But it sounds AMAZING!

"MrsAshley"... where can we read your writing!? I'm so excited for you that a publisher approached you! Tanya Marlow and I want to know how that came about. :)

Sherry said...

I think this is so true! If I succeeded at everything, and never had those bumps in the road, I would be so ungrateful and of poor character. God has used those things to bring me humbly to Him, allowing Him to mold me into something much more useful and beautiful.

Zhanna said...

Dearest! You are a writer! And you need to write that book. Whatever is on your heart! Write it!

This post is so good! It's exactly what my heart, mind and soul needed today.

You have these certain lines that are just piercing with conviction and clarity! I can't get enough of it!

This one in particular is my favorite "The road to mediocrity is just as treacherous as the roads to either success or failure."

And be assured I am writing them down :) because I love filling my home with words that stir passion.

You are just a breath of fresh air.

Joy said...

Say it with me: "I am a writer."

You are. If you write, you are a writer.

This post gets at something I have to remind myself of over and over - control is an illusion. I don't have control, whether I take risks or play it safe.

So glad you linked up to Life:Unmasked!

RACHEL said...

Ok ok... I write, so I'm a writer. :) I like that!

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