Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Risk Rejection? I don't think so. Well, maybe...
It is in my nature to crave the quiet life, one that is predictable and soothing. I want to take the way that is known, well-traveled. I am not spontaneous. I don't play the stock market. I have been at the same church since I was seven and live just one little hop from the city in which I was raised. I don't even like to ask for extra condiments if I fear I might be told "no."
Unlike Amy, who has challenged us to #riskrejection, I am not sick of the designated trails. In fact, I really, really like them. I'm not even adventurous when it comes to food. My husband had to trick me to get me to eat fried alligator. (Yes, he's from Louisiana and yes, it tastes like chicken, but tougher.)
You get the picture. I like stability. Risk rocks stability. Therefore, I should not take risks, lest I want to find myself capsized.
But then, I do. I do take risks despite my inordinately strong predisposition to not do so.
And I do it because I am temporarily blinded to the risk just long enough to put myself out there. It's only after I've become fully committed that I realize what the heck I just did and start to freak out. I'm doing WHAT again?
God must have figured out how I work. If He can just get me to see something His way for about 20 seconds, He knows I'll be in. He'll deal with my wrath, anxiety, and questions later.
It is in those 20 seconds that I forget about me. It is in those 20 seconds where my perspective completely changes and all I can think about is how in taking this risk I might change someone else's world or... maybe even the whole world.
Someone else's need begins to supersede my need to be safe. I become selfless instead of staying selfish. And I end up battling the selfish for the rest of the time I'm engaged in the risk-taking, sure, but because I committed, I know that selfless person is still somewhere inside me. The Holy Spirit is still working and helping me battle out my flesh, keeping His will in front of me, even if it means leaving the beaten path.
The world has a scale for risks, but I'm not sure that God does. Any time we step out in faith, any time we see His perspective and act, that is a big deal. To us. To Him. Because it means we are choosing to make Him a bigger priority than ourselves.
Last Friday, Hannah had a friend coming over to play. It was the first playdate, so when the mom dropped her off, I knew there would be the obligatory "first playdate" conversation. I didn't expect much more than the norm -- pick up time, food allergies, etc. But I happened to apologize for the state of my house due to the de-Christmasfying process, which lead to trash pick-up, which led to tears forming in her eyes because through some other twists and turns in the conversation, we landed on this: They had just moved here from another state and the truth is, she's having a really hard time.
And immediately, I said: "I'll be your friend! Let's have coffee sometime!" (for me, minimal risk)
But then I got that familiar inkling, the feeling there was something more I could offer her.
"Um, well, I also lead a bible study for women at my church. I don't even know if you believe in God, but that's okay. We're a great group of women. You could make a whole bunch of friends. And we have free childcare..."
She could have told me she'd look into it with a "yeah, right" kind of mentality. She could of told me that wasn't her speed. She could have walked away, come back to pick up her daughter, and that could have been the end of it. I could have ended up rejected because of my silly "I'll be your friend!" comment or because of my faith or because she thought I was making assumptions about what she needed.
But she didn't. And she's coming to bible study. And I think we'll be good friends.
For 20 seconds, I forgot about how she might perceive me. All I could see were her tears. All I could feel was the Holy Spirit.
I risked rejection and we both reaped rewards.
(And why did I use 20 seconds? Because this is one of my favorite quotes: "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." - Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo)
Linking up with Amy for #riskrejection. And also with Emily for Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Lee for #tellHisstory, and Women to Women today.
photo credit: SweetOnVeg via photopin cc