In her thought-provoking sermon today, Rev. Mary Eliot of Christ Church Columbia, reminded us of a question asked at the Advent meditation day in early December.
“What you would do if you were not afraid?”
Afraid of failing, afraid of loss, afraid of response…..
She made connections from this journey through towards the journey of the Magi to seen the newborn Jesus and the fear in the heart of King Herod. Perhaps I am getting her message all wrong, but I could not get past the first question, “what would you do if you were not afraid”
It is this concept of fear that I think prevents me (and so many) from even starting something. Or stops us mid way when we see we might fail. But what is failure? I believe it is the end of one journey and the start of a new one. We simply must embrace failure in small and large doses as a gift that God gives us as part of free will. We are able to learn, to experience, to grow because of these failures. It is only when we do not look at these failures as learning opportunities that we actually fail in the “end”.
So many times in my life I have not done something because of an innate fear of failure. Most notably, not pursuing an opera degree and taking several “safe” jobs. But in those times in which I have jumped over the open water and taken risks or tried something out of the ordinary, it has caused me to stretch beyond who I think I am and grow towards becoming what God wishes me to be. This is a great gift.
So as I look ahead in 2008, what will I do when I am posed with the question “what would you do if you were not afraid?”