For as long as I can remember, I have harbored a private, deep-seated and closely hidden fear. This fear is so debilitating, and I know many people who suffer from it. It changes the course of the future for many people. The hidden fear?
The fear of failure.
“Really?” you ask. “Failure? Really?”
Really. Fear of failure has kept many people from taking risks of any size that might lead to less-than-acceptable results. So, we just don’t take the risk. As a matter of fact, many people live their lives in a fashion similar to how some athletic teams perform during playoffs and stressful situations- playing, not to win, but playing not to lose.
I am realizing that it is no longer enough for me to risk just enough of myself that still guarantees some success, or at least, a neutral result. I’ve done that long enough. I am learning to put myself out there, to try different things, to risk reputation, comfort, and success, to be all that God has called me to be.
It isn’t just a matter of being shy; it is a matter of faith. And my faith tells me that as I follow Christ, I will be asked from time to time to follow where I cannot see the path; to speak where I cannot see the benefit; and to love when there is nothing at all to be gained.
I no longer want to safely play not to lose. I want to get about the business of living; of taking risks for the Kingdom; and leaving the results to God. Facing failure eye to eye, and working up a big spit for it. And while my knees my knock and my palms may sweat, I will take the risk. I will play to win.