Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Get on your beam

I remember sitting on the couch a several years ago watching this video by Francis Chan (It's only 3 minutes, you really should watch!) In summary, he challenged us that life is like a balance beam. A lot of us just lay down and cling to our beam out of fear and desire for safety instead of standing up and doing our routine, even though its risky, and you might fall, but isn't that better than laying down and clinging to your beam and jumping off at the end of your life saying "How was that God?" Instead, living a life of risk for God and living a story that is contrary to what the world would say is comfortable and good.  This is a video that has challenged John and I and stretched us in ways. It has challenged us to take a dream or a crazy ideas of what our family could look like and attempt to make it a reality.

A few weeks ago we were on the way home from a gymnastics meet with our daughter. I asked her how she is able to focus in a meet. Meets are loud. People are cheering, floor routine music is playing for the other gymnasts on the floor,  people are talking, kids are shouting. Then, there's my girl on the beam, laser focused on every aspect of her routine, trying to execute it with precision. I asked her on the way home, 'how can you focus with all that going on? You're even hearing the same music you have learned all the moves to for floor and yet you're on the beam. You don't get the routines mixed up and you don't look over at whats going on when people shout and cheer. How do you do that?' She said something to me that really has made me think. She said "Mom, I just pretend like its quiet. I pretend like I am in a room with my coach and I repeat everything in my head that my coach says to me in practice. So all I hear is her voice telling me what to do for the next move". (She proceeded to go through the script she hears in her head, 'approach, mount, split, present, arabesque, handstand, tighten it up, keep it vertical reese, down, leap, turn, look forward', and so on).  I was shocked at her answer.
I realized she is learning a skill and a self control mechanism that I need more of. I wish I could do a better job at quieting the noise around me, the shouts that the world throws out of "get more, you're not enough, compare, someone else is doing it better" and just quiet it all and just listen for God's voice telling me who I am and what to do next. If I just pretended like it was only me and Him, no audience around waiting for me to fall or seeing if I do it flawlessly.
Such a beautiful picture of a life that I want to live, not a safe life, but a life surrendered, moving in the presence of Him, not focused or caring of the onlookers approval, just hearing His voice tell me the next step to take. What if our lives could be a beautiful routine? One that shocks and twists and turns, one of falls and getting back up, one of huge leaps and amazing feats. It requires some letting go, some risk, and a lot of listening to our Coach for the next move, challenging us on to the next step. That is what I want more of.