I am in the process of moving some of my favorites posts from firstname.lastname@example.org over here to my new blog. This is another Lenten reflection from three years ago (February 27, 2012). Enjoy!
I deal with fear. I would not say that I am a fearful person, per se, but I definitely struggle with a type of fear. I am not afraid of death or eternity (though I used to be!), and I am not afraid of spiders, clowns or the number 13.
I am afraid of living as a new creation.
Before you write this off as a silly idea, let me explain. Lent is a season of self-reflection and examination. During this period we discover the areas of our lives which miss the mark completely and those that are misdirected or misinformed. I have been thinking about fear for the past few days and I think I’ve been given an insight:
I am not afraid of what I am as much as I am afraid of what I could be.
I am afraid of what the Lord can do in and through me.
I see my sin and know the areas which need to change, but when push comes to shove I am afraid of what that change might look like. I prayed several weeks ago for the gift of creativity. Since that prayer I have had the itch to write poetry, continue this blog, and to begin painting. I want desperately to do so, but what happens if I am actually good at it? What happens if I had a gift of creativity? Can I accept the fact that change and transformation are good?
The title of this post exhorts us to the discipline of fearlessness. The goal of this discipline is not to become a type-T personality with the need for an adrenaline rush, nor is the goal to move through life unafraid. Instead, the goal is to hold in tension the reality of our sinfulness in one hand and the hope of new creation in the other. The goal is to live without fear of what God is calling you to be and of the ongoing work his Holy Spirit is doing to transform you.
My commitment is to continue working on this blog, my poetry and any other creative endeavor that the Lord puts in front of me. I will not allow the fear of new creation and unknown transformation to cause me to live as the old man. He has called and I will follow.
That’s the goal. What’s the discipline?
Fix your gaze upon Christ.
When Peter began to walk on water and it was only when his eyes were off of his master that he began to sink. Peter was afraid of what he was doing and it had a detrimental effect. Fix your gaze firmly on Christ and ask him to continue in you the works he has planned and started. Pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be manifest in your life and for an anointing in Kingdom work. Seek the Lord in everything you do and know that in him you are a new creation – the old has gone and the new has come.
Living as a new creation should be cause for rejoicing, not for fear. We are not trying to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps or celebrate our own ability, but rather we are celebrating the diverse gifts of our creative God. We are acknowledging that he is the Creator and we are his creatures…(it’s almost as if we are admitting that we are dust and that to dust we shall return…)
Our challenge this Lent is to take on the discipline of fearlessness with the knowledge that the Risen Lord is calling and drawing us to himself.
Fear not, He has redeemed you and called you by name.
Child, you are His.