This morning I read a great blog post from prolific author, speaker and coach @MichaelHyatt called 'How To Reframe Your Fear And Let It Work For You'. First of all, if you don't know who Michael is, or don't read his posts - you're missing some caffeine for the soul. Seriously, make the time to check in with him a few times a week online. Michael's post today was simply another quiet whisper in my ear over the past couple of weeks.
We often face fear on some level before we leap into something that we perceive as significant or great. Providing the opportunity before us is a good one, that fear we experience may be an indicator that what we've been inspired to do should be done posthaste. In 'How To Reframe Your Fear And Let It Work For You' Michael offers us three steps to move through fear, "1) Notice the Feeling, 2) Objectify the Feeling and 3) Reframe the Feeling". Good advice. As a spiritual director and pastor, I would also encourage you to listen to what the Spirit of God might be speaking to you before, during and after moving through fear. If you'd like someone to walk with you through this process, I can help.
This theme of facing fear and doing something great has been coming up again and again lately . . which usually means the Spirit of God is trying to get my attention. Earlier this morning I heard the Spirit speak through the song 'Every Breaking Wave' on U2's most recent album Songs of Innocence. In it Bono sings, "Are we so helpless against the tide? / Baby every dog on the street / Knows that we're in love with defeat / Are we ready to be swept off our feet / And stop chasing / Every breaking wave". In essence, the fear that causes us to stay in our comfort zones is the same fear that keeps us chasing our tail, happily distracting ourselves (procrastinating) from jumping off the cliff of opportunity just ahead. The exhilaration of freedom that we'll experience flying through the air is what will help us make the leap of faith . . and the prospect of seeing that act birth light in the world.
Again, in the same blog post, Michael Hyatt offers some sound advice: "Whenever we have the potential to do something important or extraordinary, we’ll be tempted to stay inside our comfort zone. But the truth is we never do anything of real significance in our comfort zone. The base jumper who listens to his fears is just another hiker who walks down the mountain. It’s when we’re stretched, face our fears, and reframe them that we can reach out and touch greatness."
The Spirit of God has been trying to get my attention. I've heard and now I simply must act - in essence, I'm being called to 'poetry'. The original Greek word from which we derive the English word 'poetry' is poiesis, which means "to make (or do)". There is such depth of relationship between that word and the role the Spirit of God plays in our lives that I will have to reserve that topic for a future post (see, I'm already planning on 'making' more words!). Faith / belief / vocation only makes sense when it's acted upon. There is no distinction between faith and action - they are one and the same.
Later in the song 'Every Breaking Wave' Bono exclaims, "We know that we fear to win / And so we end before we begin / Before we begin." The fear I've been facing the past four+ years has largely been the fear of failure. Now that I've done that - failed - recently I've noticed that I'm facing a new type of fear, the fear of success. Strange, right? What happens once/if all that I've hoped for begins to happen, then what will my life look like? What decisions will I be faced with? There's no going back to life as it was! Am I good with that?
Friends, I've jumped before . . and it was a big one! My family and I left Ireland in 2010 to establish a non-profit in America, with no job or home to go to. Honestly, it hurt - but we're here, alive and living poetry. I see another cliff coming into view just ahead and I don't want hesitation or fear to keep me from making another courageous leap. Who knows if The Lord will use this little jump of ours to do something great in His wild, wonderful world? Maybe someone else will find freedom for themselves, then pass it on to another in need of it?
So . . are you ready?
3 - 2 - 1 . . JUMP!