This year is a whole new thing for us, our little family and our little corner of the world. It’s different. My husband resigned from his job as a youth pastor last year, putting our final Sunday as pastoral stuff on the last Sunday of 2013. It seems fitting to be ending one thing and starting new just as the calendar turns.
It’s an odd place to be, if I’m being perfectly honest. This is uncharted territory for us, as we’ve been in “ministry” of some form or another for nearly 15 years. It’s a change that was in the works for us for a very long time, and truth be told, we don’t consider ourselves out of the ministry now.
Over the summer, right on time with our changing hearts, we were introduced to the song Oceans. It is a song that has struck me down to the core. In fact, it took a few months for me to be able to actually sing it, as I kept finding myself stuck at the words. If I was going to sing them, I wanted them to be true. I wanted to think about them and sing them as a declaration.
We don’t know what the future holds exactly. We know God is asking to do something different. We know he’s challenging us to be the church, not just to go to church. We hear him asking us to take him to those who need him. And we sense that church should happen where life happens, in homes and coffee shops and everywhere else in between. In the not so brave moments, we realize that this is a place where might sink. Our feet may fail.
But today, somewhere in between the inception of a dream and the implementation of the dream, I find myself needing the reminder to be bold. It takes a certain kind of boldness (some may even say foolishness) to walk away from a secure position and paycheck for the great unknown. But God says he uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. And really, walking with Jesus takes risks.
It took gumption to make that decision and in the reality of the morning light, it’s taking even more to be resolute on the path.
It’s easy to make the change, but sometimes it’s hard to see it through when the rubber meets the road. This is true in major life change, but it’s also true in the little things. In a new year so many of us decide to do things different or better. And we make declarations that are the stuff of boldness. Even if they’re as simple as the resolve to eat better, exercise, date your spouse, parent with intention, or make the bed daily. But when the daily comes in, our boldness to stick to it can wane. We get tired. Life gets hectic. And that resolute choice becomes a little more hazy. That’s why it takes boldness to be brave. It’s hard to stick to the things we know we need to do. But there’s a reward in that.
Somedays my husband and I tell ourselves it would just be a whole lot easier to get normal jobs and carry on with life. But that is a lie, and it is denying that bold dream that God implanted in us. It would also rob us of the joy in seeing God work in our impossible circumstances while we wait for him to bring the dream to life.
We wait and we work, choosing to be be bold every single day, even if we feel timid. Though we can’t see the end, we have the challenge before us to carry on and finish well the parts we know. Near the end of his life on earth Jesus said to God, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” (John 17:4) That then should be our mission, no matter what our work is. Finish well. We finish well by doing today what we know to do, and then doing that again tomorrow. One day at a time. Finish well. Be bold. And then be bold some more when opposition comes. That’s all I can do, that’s all you can do-one day at at time. Take up boldness in order to be bold. Because the risky Jesus following life? It’s worth every risk and every bold step.