“When we are alive, acting on the deep callings to love, serve, create and try new ways of living, we are cultivating ‘heaven on earth’ here, now.”
I am definitely not a country music fan (in fact, I avoid it at all costs) but once in a blue moon a song somehow sneaks in and catches my heart. “Do It Anyway,” by Martina McBride is one of those songs. I heard it several years ago and still think of the words. Here are a few of the lyrics:
You can spend your whole life building something from nothing
One storm could come and blow it all away
Build it anyway.
You could chase a dream that seems so out of reach
and you know it might not ever come your way.
Dream it anyway,
God is great but sometimes life ain’t good and when I pray
it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should.
But I do it anyway.
I do it anyway.
This world’s gone crazy and it’s hard to believe
that tomorrow will be better than today.
Believe it anyway.
You can love someone with all your heart for all the right reasons
and in a moment they can choose to walk away.
Love them anyway.
I love anyway.
As we start the new year my guess is that a lot of us have hopes for the year ahead–dreams, desires, longings, holy stirrings. For some, saying them out loud is too scary, so we keep them in our heads, thinking about them in the dark of the night or in the quiet of our cars. For others, we may have been brave enough to share them with others once or twice, but it’s been a while and now it may feel kind of like “one of those crazy ideas that will probably never happen.”
To dream, to desire, to hope for something is always brave.
It’s always a risk, to open our hearts to what could be.
And to actually take the steps toward that dream, desire or hope–well, that is even braver.
When I feel afraid of moving forward toward new things, I often think of the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt toward the Promised Land. They had the hope for something better, and they took a risk to go. But then, once they were out in the wilderness, all of their issues kept them from actually making it there. They were so close, but so far away. When that generation wasn’t able to fulfill the task, the younger ones were called to try. When they sent out spies to investigate, their report was that cities were too fortified and the giants were far too big for them to conquer. The obstacles still felt too great. But Joshua and Caleb didn’t let the report paralyze them. Instead, they were brave enough to follow God’s leading and “do it anyway.”
When we look toward our dreams, there will always be giants and fortified cities that make moving toward them feel impossible.
Our heads will always be a little crazy with messages like:
– “That’s just not practical.”
– “Who do you think you are, believing you could actually do that?”
– “You’ll never be able to pull that off.”
– “That’s a little crazy.”
– “But what about … the kids, the money, the logistics, the ____”
There are always countless reasons to not do what God might be stirring up in our hearts. There’s not enough time, money, support, courage, you-name-its to actually put some of our dreams–no matter how big or small–into motion. So we stay stuck with a lump in our throats, an ache in our hearts and shackles on our feet for yet another year.
I don’t think that’s the way it is supposed to be.
Yes, it’s true–there is never a right time for many of the desires of our hearts. There will always be too many reasons why they won’t work, why they’re not practical.
But since when was life in the kingdom of God supposed to be practical?
Life is short. Life is precious. Life is calling us to life.
When we are alive, acting on the deep callings to love, serve, create, and try new ways of living we are cultivating “heaven on earth” here, now.
Here’s my hope for you, for me, as we are perched on the beginning of a brandnew year: That instead of wandering around in the wilderness this new year, wondering what might be on the other side, sure we’ll never get there, that we would be women of great courage who are willing to listen to the deep callings of our heart and be brave enough to try them in 2013.
We might fail. Let’s be brave and try anyway.
We might not have the support or encouragement we’d hoped for. Let’s be brave and move toward it anyway.
We might not have the resources for everything to look exactly like we want it to from the start. Let’s be brave and start anyway.
We might not have it all planned out and wrapped up in a tidy bow before we start. Let’s be brave and take the next baby step anyway.
We might not feel brave enough or strong enough or smart enough or equipped enough. But let’s do it anyway.
Let’s do it anyway.
A beautiful, messy, scary and brave year awaits all of us, dear SheLoves friends. Let’s not waste it only dreaming about what could be. Let’s bravely ask God for courage and actually make some of these dreams come alive.
Happy new year!
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