"He must increase, but I must decrease."

Friday, May 27, 2016

When 20 seconds of courage turns into 10 minutes

Several weeks ago I was asked to be the speaker at my brother's high school graduation. Well, graduation is over and my brother is officially an adult. I thought I"d share the speech God gave me for the graduates. I left just as I wrote it, in a speech format.

What does it take to change a life? Two things came to mind as I was praying about this speech.
Time and courage.
There are many, many more that others can and have covered, but today I want to focus on these two.

Everything you and I do take time and at least an element of courage. How much time and courage am I talking about? Right now let's take it in a small amount- twenty seconds.
Twenty seconds doesn't seem like much time, but before we keep going I want to give you a frame of reference for it...

There it is. Twenty seconds. Such a small amount of time in the grand scheme of things, but, as you probably noticed, in a moment it can feel forever long.
So, why twenty seconds? What does this small amount of time have to do with your life, especially now-- at graduation?

There is a great quote from the movie We Bought a Zoo, the main character Benjamin Mee says, "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally, twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it."

What would happen if you decided to make that quote your motto and live by it? What would twenty seconds of insane courage look like in your life?

I know, at times in my life it has looked like starting a conversation, asking to pray for someone, making a decision, sending a note or text, and many other similar moments. (Adventures in Missions visit with Cody)
I could go on to give you more examples from the lives of others, but it really comes down to your twenty seconds, your moment. You will have many of them; it's all in what you decide to do in each one. You never fully know what God will do with those moments.

Since it really is such a small amount of time, what keeps you and me from that twenty seconds of courage?

That feeling of apprehension that something unpleasant will happen, whether imagined or real.
It can look different in each of our lives and even at different times of our live- fear of rejection, fear of what others think, fear of inadequacy, fear of messing up, fear of the unknown- in all cases, though, it does the same thing,--- stops us from moving forward in the plan God has for us.

I am sure most of you have heard most of your lives, God has a plan for your life. Well, you are the one that has to choose to walk in it, and that takes courage.

God tells us several times throughout the Bible to "fear not," and a few more times He says "be strong and courageous."

Graduates, you are facing a new future, and it can be intimidating and confusing at times, please don't let fear keep you from God's plan.

I don't speak without my own experience in this area of fear.

After my graduation I pretty well knew I would go to school. Two years later, though, I had my Associate in Arts and no idea what God wanted for me.
That is when fear began to set in. My fear took the form of being afraid I would make the wrong decision. I was constantly questioning every decision I made. 

“Is the really what God wants?"
"What if I'm wrong?"
"What if God is telling me to do something else?" 

These questions haunted me every time I started to take a step, big or small. Then one Tuesday afternoon I shared some of my thoughts with my spiritual father.

(Sidenote here guys, find a man or woman of godly wisdom to mentor and pray for you) 

Anyway, he shared a quote with me from his spiritual father, "God can fix your mistakes, but He won't tolerate your disobedience." This changed my life. No longer did I have to worry about or fear everything going wrong or not. 

Graduates, as long as you truly are pursuing God and listening for His direction He will not lead you down a wrong path, and if there is a mistake that needs to be corrected, He will show you. Just don't let fear cause you to disobey His direction.

Now then, I echo the poet Mary Oliver, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
You, my friends, are about to step out on a new adventure of your own.

Some of you have been preparing for this moment for the last five years. You've got it all planned, out and you know what you're doing. That's great. Now have the courage to trust God and walk in His calling and do it.

Some of you may have no idea what you are doing now, much less come fall. Have the courage to ask God, and as you ask be willing to wait for His answer and then do it.

Whatever it is that is coming next, remember that it will take time and courage. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather trusting God and taking action in spite of that fear.

This life you have now will be the only one you can live. Don't let fear hold you back.
Live your one wild and precious life as you walk courageously in the God's will knowing that He will direct your paths. 

After all, sometimes all you really need is twenty seconds of insane courage.

1 comment:

  1. I needed to be reminded of this. Thanks for sharing dear friend!


Colossians 4:6
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.