Despair is a liar.
I have not posted here in well over a year. When I started down the risk path, I could barely see the light at the end of the tunnel, let alone what I'd do once my feet got there. Not writing here is not equal to not writing anywhere. Jesus dispensed grace for me to document the most intense growth season of my spiritual life - two years stepping out of comfort a thousand different times. Since my one thousandth risk was posted, I've received grace for writing of a different form.
Most of my posts were several hundred words long (yes, with a few excruciatingly long ramblings through-out). Since last January I've been writing what I felt was next step in my evolution of risk-taking growth. One Thousand Risks: Trading Fear for the Awkward Awesome with Jesus (working title - what do you think? Any thoughts for improving it?Does it capture what you felt this journey spelled?) is now a 57,000 word, 20+ Chapter manuscript.
Closer than ever to a finished, completed project with miles of work still ahead of me.
Thank you again for having followed my journey. I look forward to sharing more - including more regular posts here.
Below is my most recent blog entry at comeandlive.com on what I've struggled with most over the years:
It was Olympic season, and we were all in on Rio 2016. Out of the four of us, I’m probably the least athletic no thanks to the fact I never played a single organized sport growing up. Nor does my body - or mind - seem to have the faculties required to endure pain for seasons unendingly. Though I possess little on any Olympic training front, the past seven years have proven to be the most consistently challenging spiritual workout of my life. Unlike a true athlete whose ultimate achievement is measured by success - or the complete lack thereof - I’m still mostly sitting. Sometimes success is calculated and achieved in mere seconds like Usain Bolt making history in the blink of 9.81 seconds. Approximately 60,000 people watched Usain’s bolt from the stands. Most eyeballs, like our own (and an incomprehensible 35 million others - Thirty-Five Million!) watched from a more comfortable space.
Everyone was, and still is, talking about the fastest man alive. Seven other runners were there, though - four to his left and three to his right - and they were all fast. I may not have dug deep enough, but I couldn't find a single Google search result for any of the other athletes competing for gold in that race. They all finished milliseconds after Bolt. Few care; not because they weren't good, but because they had been overshadowed. Someone more captivating drew our attention away from silver, bronze, and 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
You and I, as fellow followers of Jesus, will likely never have millions, let alone tens of millions, cheering for us. At least not here, and not now. Who cares?
As I near seven years since committing my life to full Jesus surrender, I find one devil has worked harder than all others to kill me.
When this devil of a derailing distraction shows up, it aims to claim me and all my attention. It tells me how pathetic life is, how far out of my reach success is, how I’m alone, that I don’t matter, all I do is screw up, no deep purpose exists, Jesus is not real, does not care, and I’d be better off lifeless.
Despair’s purpose and plan is to disqualify me, not from running - he’s fine with me running - but from grace and the race. To get me running, or crawling, in any direction but that one state of determination. Fixed gaze on the King of kings.
Despair is a liar.
I confess listening too often to his wretched misery. Every lie of his opposes what God promised, and delivers, true:
Life is full. - John 10:10 I am victorious. - Psalm 20:6 Jesus is with me. - Matthew 28:20 I matter. - Isaiah 43:1 Screwing up only provides an opportunity for Jesus to show off. - 2 Corinthians 12:9 Purpose is life and I am living. - Psalm 138:8 Jesus is real. - John 20:19-24 Jesus cares. - Matthew 18:12 I’m better off alive. - Ecclesiastes 9:4
Come hell or high water, or both; our everything is spent well on Jesus.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. - Hebrews 12:1-3