As a man in his forties, I find myself thinking more and more of my relevance, my place in the world. Not in an egocentric, “oh-look-at-me” kind of way, but rather in the form of the impact I’m making in people’s lives. I wonder: am making an impact, does what I do “matter?” Do I matter?
These are core issues, near to most everybody’s hearts. We wonder: what difference am I making? If you’re like me, this has led to paralysis far too many times. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: the questioning leads to indecision, and indecision leads to indolence. And because I haven’t moved in an area, I become increasingly afraid to do so. If you’re at all like me, this has happened to you, too.
It’s not that the questioning is in itself bad, but I often question myself into a corner. Do you do this? It’s not a good place to be. I don’t think it’s God-honoring in the slightest.
This is why, of late, I’ve resolved to act upon the data at hand. This has perhaps led to some questionable decisions–but at least I’ve acted. And you know what? I think God is more pleased in my trying, failing, and flaming out, than He is by my fear of failure. It’s taken me far too long to learn this lesson.
And that’s what this is really about, the fear of failure, and of rejection, isn’t it? I don’t try because I’m afraid to fail, or I don’t try because I fear rejection. How about you? What goads you to inaction?
As I indicated above, I’ve begun to act, instead of constantly over-analyzing into inactivity. I suppose part of it is my age–the general recognition that more days have gone by than are ahead–but mostly I credit it to my wife. She is the wisest person I know, and constantly reminds me that it’s either A) stupidity; or B) lunacy to continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. This is not to say that she necessarily agrees with my more “questionable” decisions, or even concurs with all my convictions, but she supports me. And she loves me enough to not leave me as I am. And that makes all the difference. It–she, her support–helps me face my fears, and act in spite of them. I am so thankful to God for her. It’s become de rigueur for men to say that they’ve “married up” (it may even be cliché), but in my case it’s nothing short of true. I married way up.
I’ll end with this: how about you? Who do you have in your life who loves you enough to ask the hard questions, to not leave you as you are?