I went on my year-long fast from buying clothes because of a story he told in Blue Like Jazz. I was motivated to do my Project 101 in 1001 while reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. And now, after hearing Donald speak, I have again been smacked between the eyes with a foundation-shifting realization:
I'm scared to do stuff for God.
I know it's awful and I know I shouldn't be. But truly and honestly, I am a spiritual scaredy-cat is who is miserably content in the sad little rut I've cut out for my comfortable little life. I avoid even thinking about doing big things for God because I'm afraid I might actually have to do them. Which is ridiculous because I am 98% sure that if I gave it all up for God and really served Him without fear, I would never regret it. I would have awesome stories and experiences and memories that could never compare with a life lived comfortably.
But that 2% uncertainty that reminds me that I would also have trials and struggles and challenges, sure seems to scream louder than the 98%. That 2% reminds me that I like my stuff and my apartment and the security of my job and my savings account. I like living close to family. I like planning out my future, happy little American family. I like not having to think about ruffling up or letting go of some of those "perfect" dreams. Even if the reason for the uprooting them is a Great One.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” - Jesus, Matthew 16:25
Donald spoke about how serving God involves action. That good stories have lots of action verbs. That as Christians we can't just sit around talking about God and thinking about God and reading about God while not actually doing anything for God. He compared it to reading a tractor's manual but never buying a tractor or plowing a field. That would be absurd, and yet I do this same thing with my life all the time.
He also talked about how often we are too scared to dream big with God and then challenged us to start by asking "What if" questions. "What if I moved to Africa?" "What if I started a ministry?" "What if every fatherless child had a mentor?" That sort of thing.
That was the moment when I realized that not only have I been too scared and comfortable to try and do big things for God, I wasn't even willing to think about them. I would often be silent when Devin would talk about doing something huge for God because I was afraid that if I even showed the smallest hint of interest, support or excitement about the idea, I would have to follow through with doing it.
But I'm starting to go in circles here.
To sum it up - I realized that if I really believe God is who He says He is, and will do the things He says He will, that I have no excuse for not serving Him with abandon. I realized that I'm too attached to my comfy life and use it as an excuse for not being open to doing something big for God. And, as I scribbled out some "What ifs" through my tears, I saw a common theme:
- What if we worked at a Compassion International center in Uganda?
- What if we worked for House of James orphanage in the Ukraine?
- What if we became house parents for Sunshine Acres children's home?
- What if we became foster parents?
- What if I wasn't scared to do something big for God?
- What if I was willing to let go of all the "comfortable?"
I honestly don't know yet what to do with all these "What Ifs." I only know that I've been too afraid to even consider them and now that this wall of denial lays crumbled at my feet, I've got to face the challenge of being willing to do.