Doing new things is hard. Even doing old things during a new(ish) season of life is hard.
Sorry for the hiatus from posting for the past week or so. Honestly, even though I love doing it, writing is hard. I feel like I put some of my own guts into each of the posts I write and I don’t feel like anything I ever write is good enough. Good enough for what? No idea.
I think everyone has been asked, at some point, what their greatest fear is. Mine? Unequivocally, failure. As I get older and gain more responsibility, that fear forks and spreads through ever more aspects of my life. Fear of failing as a husband, father, provider, son, brother, Christian, man… the list goes on. When I allow myself to sit and think about it, kind of like now, the fear is almost crippling. I don’t want to sound like a cry-baby, not even sure if this is something others can relate to.
In response to this fear, I’ve been doing several ‘new’ things lately. Those new habits that I’m trying to build are part of the reason that I haven’t written much lately. The first is a daily ‘quiet time.’ Spending time with Jesus, both in reading and meditating on scripture, as well as prayer. In order to do that, I’ve been getting up an hour earlier everyday before work… which means that I get 5 hours of sleep or less each night. However, the trade off has been worth it. I feel God’s word changing me, making me healthier, although I remain far from perfect. It’s kind of like taking spiritual vitamins. You’ll see the benefit over time but rarely right away. But even just after a few weeks of being consistent with this habit, I find myself craving my quiet time when I miss it.
The next habit is two-fold. It’s taking care of my health. I’ve been dieting and trying to excercise. Both of which kind of suck when you’re just starting. My co-workers have laughed at me for moving around the office like an old man. I can’t run half as far or lift half as much weight as I could a few years ago. But, there’s progress, I’ve dropped some pounds and feel much better.
So, now you know why I’ve been MIA for a few days. Getting up early in addtion to a new eating and exercise routine leave me pretty spent by the end of the day. My goal is to build writing back into my habits as well. I find that I think better through my fingertips, and I’m glad that some of you find my thoughts interesting.
Why am I telling you this? Honestly, because I can. I like to share what’s going on in my heart and life with other people. I also find that fear and doubt are easier to confront when brought into the light. Darkness and anonymity are the homefield for fear, doubt, and sin. It’s my hope that sharing this will not only help me to deal with it, but encourage anyone reading this too.
However, self-help can only go so far. It is my belief, taken from scripture, that I (in and of myself) am incapable of doing anything good. Everything that I can do on my own is worthless, filthy rags. This isn’t self-loathing, this is self-honesty and it’s the most comforting thing I have ever thought about. Fortunately for me, and for anyone who accepts Christ, my ‘goodness’ (or lack thereof) is not what will determine the value and impact of my life. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, he has taken my sin and given me His righteousness. The pressure has been taken off of me.
This doesn’t mean that I’ll now live however I want to and embrace my flaws and sin. This realization, that of being given a gift I will never deserve, is to then show my appreciation by treating it, this grace, as the most valuable thing in the world. I’ve never been a perfect Christian, or son, or husband, or dad, or anything. But, maybe today I can be a bit more like Jesus than yesterday, be a little kinder to my neighbor, be a little better example to my son, love my wife a little more… I’ll strive for perfection but be content with progress.
Does this completely take away my fear of failure? No. It changes the way that I respond to that fear. I’m insufficient, but Christ is beyond sufficient. Through Him and because of Him, I’m redeemed, loved, and transformed into the man that He meant me to be. I run to Christ, instead of backing away from my fear.
This post was not something I planned. I really just sat down and started writing my thoughts and feelings. Several weeks ago, before spending time with Jesus each day, I’m not sure this post would have read the same way. If it did, it would have been mostly insincere.
More of my wife’s and my story will be coming soon. I also hope to share with you some of the creative writing I’m working on. I appreciate you reading this far and I hope my thoughts have been at least coherent, but also meaningful. Leave a comment or shoot me a message, I’m always interested to hear what you have to say.
Talk to you again soon.