We make some of our biggest leadership (and self-leadership) failures sitting still. We blow tremendous ideas by not even beginning them. We waste God-sent visions by allowing dreams to remain dreams.
And in so doing we do the worst thing possible for the waiting world spinning around us… nothing.
[Does any of the following describe your life?]
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people gravitate towards “safe.”
Courage is a currency hard to come by. People idolize certainty, smothering any space for faith. That’s why many spend their lives securing their lives. It’s like their life-mission is to gain and establish as much control as possible, to remove all volatility from their future.
So people say, “I’m going to get this safe degree. And pick the lucrative job. And build my portfolio. And just have a nice little family. And live in a nice big house, in a nice gated community. And send my kid to the nice special school and make them wear helmets to the potty and sunscreen indoors. And we’ll just be safe.”
…For the record, there’s nothing wrong with any of the previous [except for sunscreen… I hate sunscreen].
But in the process of gaining control over our lives, I wonder if sometimes we forget to live them? Or even fail to really use them?
I wonder if we value the safety of our life so much we forget to plant the seeds of boldness, faith, vision, and thus miss the harvest of difference we could make otherwise?
I wonder if myopia is the number one symptom of the American Dream?
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but people also gravitate towards “status quo.”
We naturally normalize our lives. And we like it. Because a nice, repeatable, anticipated routine is comfortable.
“Kids these days with their BlueTube and their Starbucks and their yPhones!” Most people don’t like change. So consequently, change is rarely perceived as a solution. Instead, it’s a step into the unknown. It’s a step into a future that isn’t safe and will require new effort, new relationships, new energy. In most cases, change just feels like an interruption to something that is fine as is… my normal every-day life.
And so we sit. Still. Very still. 9 to 5. Making money. Watching Neftlix. Waiting on retirement. And dust collects. Time normalizes our complacency. Time makes it less and less likely for us to ever move again. Time narrows our vision and hardens our heads. Time makes “same-old-same” comfortable. And we become lukewarm with no working thermometer to warn us. We lose our ability to see through an empty contentment to what could be.
And I wonder if in the process of achieving stability, we don’t also achieve mediocrity?
I wonder if the time spent nailing down normal isn’t also time spent cementing our hearts, bodies, dreams, and futures into place?
I believe the core of Christian faith is a confident eagerness to move. Always move. To change. To risk. To take another step. To push back against the gravitational pull toward safe, status quo, and refuse the rigor mortis of life. To wholly rely and depend on a God whose kingdom never stands still, but always advances.
This may no longer be a Christian nation, I really couldn’t say. But there are undoubtedly tons of Christians in this nation. And I wonder if too many of us are safe… status quo.
One safe decision never kills the magnanimous potential of a life. In fact, safe can often be wise. Rather, it’s the cumulative effect of safe decision after safe decision, motivated by a desire for self-centered control, that decimates life-potential.
In the same way, one safe-status-quo Christian never kills the magnanimous potential of our movement. Rather, it’s the cumulative effect of a sea of comfortable disciples that decimates us. What are we waiting for? Someone to move for us?
I do wonder how many God-sent, earth-shaking, life-changing visions we’ve collectively ignored? I’ve ignored a few, I admit. I wonder how many we’ve aborted quietly? Killed off secretly? Abandoned in fear? Chained to the non-reality of fantasy and dream? Played safe? Folded to avoid the risk?
Collectively, God has probably sent us hundreds upon thousands upon millions of visions that have been snuffed out in the name of status quo. Visions that could’ve changed even one heart. Visions that could’ve saved even one life. Perhaps visions that could’ve ended homelessness, dehumanization, poverty, racism, injustice, addiction, crime. Why lay the blame of suffering at the feet of God when countless followers have gutlessly ignored the Spirit’s urging to do something?
Sorry, if this blog feels negative. I’ve just been convicted lately.
You know… I bet many of you reading this have an amazing vision inside of you right now. A vision sent from God specifically to you. Perhaps a vision to change a life. Maybe a vision to save thousands of lives. Let us not suffocate that vision any longer with safe or status quo.
I’ve done it too many times myself. So let’s turn the tide together. Let’s not make mistakes standing still. Let’s not be the same people in twenty years that we are today. Let’s be bold. Let’s move. Let’s do something, and in the process avoid doing the most disastrous thing possible for the waiting world around us… nothing.
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