Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Choose the challenge!

Over the past several years I have discovered that I thrive on challenges. Challenges are exciting, they require work, they require ingenuity, and they typically require more of me than I think I know I have. In fact, many have required more of me than I actually had, but it has been within those moments that I have grown into the situation and learned what I needed to know and grown deeper and stronger than I was previously. It is within the complexity and difficulties of challenges that God makes me more into the person He designed. Of note though, I, and anyone else who embraces the challenges of life, don't do it by sitting on our rears. On the contrary, to embrace a challenge is often to step into the unknown, take a path that isn't just "less traveled" but quite possibly non-existent. It most definitely can be a scary moment as you really don't know what is ahead, but what you do know is that you MUST act, you must push harder, and you must go further. I'm reading an excellent book called Chasing Daylight by Erwin R. McManus that truly challenges the readers to not be, what I have called for years, "lazy Christians." Life is passing by with every second. The second that is past is gone forever. When you wait for doors and windows to open up the path of life you should follow you are, in essence, telling God, "you do it, I'm too lazy." Should you seek God's guidance? Yes! Should you tirelessly work to determine the ever pondered question of "What is God's will for my life?" Yes! But don't do it sitting on your butt! Get out and do something today! You have talents, you have strengths, you have weaknesses, you have something to offer the world, and you have personal areas you know must grow and improve for you to simply be a better person, Christian, friend, sibling, etc.! McManus says something that really stood out to me, "Some of life's greatest opportunities are not behind doors or windows, but behind walls. They require genuine effort. Beyond risk they require real sweat. Our religious integration of Christianity with capitalism and consumerism has resulted in a view of life that says if God is in it, it comes easily. Then when the inevitable difficulties come, when we hit the wall, we either assume God is not in it or conclude we've made a wrong choice in our pursuit...the most imporotant moments to seize, the most significant God opportunities, are the ones that do not come easily." The TV preacher touted life of ease if you simply fill out a check and mail it in or if you say X number of prayers a day or send X number of dollars here or there truly is major disservice to the truth. Life isn't about seeing how easily you can skate through it...you may try that, but I will bet you money the satisfaction and internal reward you reap will either be unsatisfactory and leave you wanting more, or pale in comparisson to the peace, joy, satisfaction, and impact on others that living a life of embracing challenges and taking the risks of tackling the unknown produce. So I ask you, are you lazy? Are you waiting sitting down and waiting for the next window or door to open? Or do you know that you have been called, even if you don't know what that calling is, and know you must move forward? If so, move forward! Act! Whatever you do, unless you hear God tell you to "be still" (which He does at times, so keep your ears open, just know that He doesn't have us just sit and be still for extended periods of time because He's got things for us to do!), then get up and do something to impact your world, your life, your family, your friends. Stretch yourself, challenge yourself, and see what divine opportunity you find yourself in the midst of experiencing!

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