The concept for this blog isn’t a new one at all, but I need to write it, even if just for myself.
This is a question I ask myself, not often, but during low points, points we can all hit at times. When we wake up with a plan to do something, then those doubts creep in with, “What’s the point? Will this even make a difference? Will anyone even notice if I don’t? Will anyone even notice if I do?”
The book of Ecclesiastes is filled with this type of pondering. Not only is that where I’ve been in my personal Bible reading lately, it’s where I’ve been in life. Call it self-assessment, call it re-prioritizing, but I’ve been in a place of assessing the things that I believe I’m called to do, and trying to figure out what is holding me back from doing them.
The answer, plain and simple, is fear.
Fear of what people will think once I put myself out there.
Fear of not “doing it right.”
Fear of spending all the time, money, energy, and resources it takes to make it happen, then it not having the impact that I’d hope for.
Fear of failing.
But the conclusion I’m coming to is, again, not new, but crucial to come to: If I feel called to do something, it is imperative that I do it.
I find it so fascinating that every single person on this earth has a purpose they are called to and a passion to do something. And every “something” is different for every person. This speaks to the creativity of God, how personal He is, and how He cares about each of us individually as well as collectively. The Bible confirms this in verses like Luke 12:7, Jeremiah 1:5, and Psalm 139:16. God knows us, but not only that, He put these desires in us; desires to do something.
I have some pretty incredible women in my life. Each of which has a passion for something different.
One is a cinematographer. She has a passion for storytelling; putting the story of people’s lives and specifically the journey that led them to a relationship with God into film. She is an incredible artist, and her work is absolutely breathtaking.
I have another friend who is an actress and a producer. She’s currently working on a business to benefit both creatives and the community in which they live. To me, this girl is super woman, and I’m always amazed at all of the things she’s able to accomplish within a week’s time. She is brilliant, hardworking, and kind.
And more friends still, friends who own a pizza place, friends who make music and write blogs and home-school their children. And I wonder how empty this world would be if every single one of them never executed these passions out of fear; if none of us ever did the thing we knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were called to do simply because we were afraid.
I had a conversation with a young girl the other day that felt sort of like talking into a mirror. She expressed a desire to start a Bible study for young girls and make some encouraging videos and have an online ministry. I asked her what was holding her back. Her answer? You guessed it; fear.
She text me later that week and said, “Okay, I did it, I’m so scared that no one will respond, but I’m stepping out in faith and doing it!”
And that is what we all need to do. That is what I need to do. There will always be days where we wake up and question if what we’re doing even matters. But on those days when fear and doubt feel all-consuming, the question we should ask ourselves instead is: what will happen if I don’t?
A great story that illustrates this question beautifully is the story of Esther.
In fact, we hear Esther 4:14 quoted often, “…and who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
What we often ignore is the whole “if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish,” part.
We love hearing that we were created for “such a time as this,” but the reality of what might happen not only to ourselves, but to others if we don’t follow that calling can be a hard pill to swallow.
Yet, one of the most incredible things about God is; He has a plan and a purpose that will prevail whether we join Him in it or not. He doesn't actually need us, but He wants to use us. If we chicken out or procrastinate, He'll make it happen. It may happen with us as a part of it, like Aaron being Moses' mouthpiece because he had either a speech impediment or a fear of public speaking. Or, we could be like Esther; a woman who was remembered for an incredible act of bravery. Esther could have been any woman, and we would have the book of Katherine, Susanne, Martha or the name of another concubine or Jewish girl instead, but we have the book of Esther because she faced her fears & stepped into her calling.
So I think when we feel like it's meaningless or pointless, and maybe won't make much of a difference either way, what we must remember is that the difference is simply that we could be the one who is a part of something greater than ourselves, or we could not be. We could take that risk and do that thing that we've been feeling like we are supposed to do our whole life, and it could change thousands of lives, or just one. The impact of our obedience and bravery can never fully be grasped until after the fact. But how cool is it to think of the influence you might have simply because you took the risk and said, "Yes" to God?
To put it simply, fear is a liar, and you need to put him in his place.
Start with the simplest act of bravery and work your way up. For instance, if you feel like a "calling" God has placed on your life is to encourage people, whether through a blog, a song, a sermon, or a book, start with something like a daily motivational quote on Instagram or a weekly devotional thought. I understand the fear that it won't have the impact you're hoping for, so, what’s the point? The reality is, God created all of us with a purpose, and together, we make up the beautiful tapestry of life. So, if you don’t step out and face your fears, He’ll provide another way, but how incredible is it to know that your act of bravery could potentially have an impact for years to come, perhaps even beyond your lifetime?
So, what’s the point?
The point is: it matters.
Your dream matters. You matter.
So get out there today and show fear you’re not afraid.