Taking on new challenges is filled with uncertainties, fears, and doubts. Even when one is reasonably confident of one's abilities and experience, a new challenge comes with unknowns uniquely its own. Seeking approval is a natural response. I often wonder if we realize how much approval already exists in our lives.
As I look at the response of those around me, I am struck by the variety of the responses I find. I am filled with hope as I watch a select few embrace their unknowns with courage. Rarely do they succeed as they hope. That is not the point of their efforts. It is in their struggle that life takes on meaning and purpose. It is in their willingness to stand up and push on despite the pain, anguish, and at times guilt that hope finds it rebirth. It is in their willingness to rely on others for help that they find more of the strength God offers to each.
I am struck how frequently individuals stand at the gate of opportunity, occasionally peaking in, only to walk away after an extended pause of consideration. The scenario extends through opportunities to address injustice on to ignoring those in need, even dying, to denying they ever stood before a door of opportunity.
Even as my commentary begins to form, I find myself bathed in God's commentary on your life and mine. “I know you as my child. I entrust you with freedom and the ability to exercise compassion, love, and mercy. I empower you with my authority to exercise your freedoms and abilities in the community that you find yourself.”
Others have been chosen and “then they presented them to the apostles. Praying, the apostles laid on hands and commissioned them for their task.” (Acts 6.5) What followed was clearly an example of God at work in the ordinary daily events of a community. The invitation then and now is the same; God invites us to take on the challenge living large in our communities. God will be with us, in our fears, uncertainties, and doubts.
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