This Week in Church: Making Moves and Renaming Fears

Welcome to the series wherein I share my take-aways from church. The things that, I think, are beneficial to all of us to know or think about, whether or not we believe in any church-related things.

A picture of a small chaple with a steeple in a field, with the text This Week in Church written on the sky.

This week in church we talked about moving.

Throughout the Bible, there are a ton of stories where God or Jesus simply invite or tell someone to leave where they are and do something different: "Go to the Promise Land," or "Come, follow me." That's about all the information they get. And, at least in the stories in the Bible, people came. They went.

I don't know about you, but I tend to need more information than that before I make even a moderate change in my life, let alone leaving behind everything I know.

Here's one thing, though: we don't make many discoveries while we are standing still. It's while we are moving to pursue something, anything really, that we are encounter both ourselves and opportunity. It's possible we wind up in a completely different direction than we planned, but we never would have gotten anywhere if we hadn't started moving in the first place.

Okay, I am on board that sometimes we need to move, even when we don't have all the information. But how do we know when it's that time? Sometimes, prudent planning is needed, right? (Honestly, I am already hedging that MY movements in life require clear roadmaps from the beginning to end even if other people should leap, faithfully, into the unknown.)

One other thought on this: how many times were those calls to action actually giving the person permission to follow their deepest heart's desire? Certainly, things like seeking a promise land were deep longings that were already in place. But what about the fishermen who Jesus invited to follow him? Maybe they, too, were longing for change. For something new. Maybe they just needed an excuse to throw down those nets and leave everything behind.

(I am partially hedging again. If this is the case, it's a lovely example of provision. It also gives me an excuse not to act on my deep longings because I haven't been explicitly invited to do so by a greater being.)

This week in church we talked about giving our fears a new name.

I have to say, I never would have expected a pastor to stand up and paint responsibility and living with caution as a bad thing. Sure, pastors growing up would reference Jesus as the "ultimate rebel", but they only wanted us to rebel from things like parties, drinking, and sex. They wanted us to be so rebellious that we stayed home to play board games with our parents and did a devotional before bed.

So hearing my pastor challenge us that we may have taken to calling our fears responsibility and suggest we read a book called The Crime of Living Cautiously was a bit of a surprise.

Are you letting the fact that your fears all wear the name tag "Hello, I'm Responsible" keep you from your deeper longings? I am.

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