Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Border Bullies and How to Dream Anyway

Proverbs 4:25-27
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 
 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 
 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Have you stood at the brink of Possibility, only to have someone list all the reasons NOT to venture out? 

This, dear reader, is your Border Bully; your living-safe-within-the-boundaries-non-risk-taker-adventure-squashing border bully. 

If you're particularly challenged, there may be more than one.

Seriously.  It's maddening.

For instance, I've got Retirement on my radar -- these days I find myself leaning into the unknown, curiously peering into the future which holds, I'm quite sure, many adventures. This anticipation, this giddy breath of rare air, gives me a ripple of joy.  

The very notion of turning my writing into a full time passion? It's heady stuff.  The new opportunities for travel, for ministry, for investing deeply in people and dreaming new dreams?  I feel light and airy just thinking of it.

But here they come: the well-meaning, ever-so-careful, people in my life. Otherwise known as ... the border bullies. These are the ones who stand at the finish line with you, begging you not to break the ribbon -- pulling you back from victory, keeping you from getting the prize.

"You should wait until you're 66 to get the full benefits."

"Are you sure you'll have enough to fund your dreams?"

"You'll have to lower your expectations."

"How on earth will you manage the medical expenses?"

And on it goes.  Propelled by worry, fueled by fear, these voices nip at my ears, reminding me of the economy, the uncertainty, the risks.

These are the times when I think of a wise friend's words. She said, When it comes to finances, I have to remember my job is not my Provider; God is."

Yes, it's important to plan. As believers we are called to be good stewards of the resources we are blessed enough to enjoy. It's smart to save and avoid careless purchases. 

It's also helpful to listen to people's advice.

But here's the thing. If I hang back in order to gain approval from people, I'm making my world smaller. 

Bruce Wilkinson, who coined the term, "border bullies", says it like this: "If you want your dream more than you have to have people's affirmation, that's how you break through your border bullies".

This is what I know: I serve a God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10-11) His resources are rich and unfathomable. He will take care of me. As a widow, I've learned this promise, time and again.

You may be looking eagerly into a new career. Perhaps you're building a relationship. Maybe you're exploring the creative side of you who longs to paint or dance or write a poem.

Watch out for those border bullies. 

Stay the course. Fix your gaze directly before you, and go forward with every confidence that God placed that vision in your heart, and He goes before you.  

Yes, there will be naysayers. I say, stand your ground. Show some grace. Smile. Prayerfully and with joy, follow your heart. 

I invite you to look for my books, Breath of Joy! Simply Summer and Breath of Joy! Ah, Autumn, and the newly-launched Breath of Joy! Singing Spring.

This blog supports, timely gifts for all seasons.

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