Dare is an odd word. When I read the word “dare”, I think of things like jumping out of airplanes or bungie jumping.
Let me begin by saying that my greatest fear is heights, so no one would ever find me doing either of those things. Not gonna happen.
On the other hand, I have a philosophy of life that contradicts what I just wrote. I think it’s valuable, and even necessary, to do something that I am afraid to do…every single day. Little things that are just daunting can qualify, and most days that’s what I face.
For all of us, life is sprinkled with hard conversations, difficult relationships, fear or uncertainty for our children, issues at work, and even health concerns, not to mention many more. I’ve tried, over the years, to deal with all of these categories in a variety of ways. Ignoring was a favorite, closely related to procrastination. This tactic works…for a minute. Relief, however, is short-lived. Let’s see…then I tried yelling, a very near relative to demanding. Again, quite effective, except it permanently changes relationships. The look of fear and exhaustion on my face and on those that I love ultimately isn’t worth it.
I’m always reading a number of books at the same time – it’s a juggling act I’ve perfected over the years:-) The one that is closest to me at all times these days is Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. The spiritual insight and wisdom in this book is so stirring that I can only read it a bit at a time. I actually have to walk away and come back to it after I’ve thought, prayed and fully ingested it. What a strange, beautiful experience. And, chapter after chapter, the same thing keeps happening. I so love that:-)
Originally, I thought this book was just about finding the things in life to be grateful for, but that’s not it. That’s it, but not ALL of it. It’s about daring to live fully.
Living fully…hmmm. That can’t be the same for each of us. And that awareness, right there, is profound change for me. My fullness of life, which I know is found in my relationship with Christ, and living that out, is affecting me in ways that are moving me past fear, past self-doubt, past indirect communication, past passivity. To live in daring fullness is to pursue joy, to take the chances in this life that might bring pain or failure, but may also bring laughter and love, and to pour into others with abandon.
Daring today means far more to me than bungie jumping. It’;s about stepping out in faith.