“Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”
The War of Art
Fear is a cold-blooded killer that wants to see you dead.
You can call it Resistance, you can call it the Enemy, you can call it a lot of things. You dream of pushing past fear. But it all boils down to one thing – fear wants to kill you. Fear wants nothing more than to smother the dream that you have. Fear wants to choke out the unique, singular story that God has wired into your life. It’s a leech in the fact that it can only destroy, but never create. Fear can only rob from life, it can never give life.
Fear looks completely different when you’re viewing it from the outside. When someone else is facing fear we’re all too helpful in urging them forward. But when the fear is encasing your life it’s a different story.
Last year I made the decision to confront the fear and pursue the dream that I’ve carried inside of me for years. I thought the crucial moment it would be different.
I thought that it would happen with a loud fanfare, a swell of emotional music, and quite possibly a dramatic yell where the camera moves to an overhead shot (like in Star Trek, where the Klingons yell to the heavens after a Klingon dies, to warn heaven that a Klingon warrior is headed their way.)
But it wasn’t that way at all.
I found that changing my life started with small, quiet decisions.
I only said seven words.
“This does not work for me anymore.”
I sat in a regular Monday meeting, the same type of Monday ministry meeting that I have sat in for 20 years. Four faux leather chairs forming a square. A squat coffee table in the middle. Square windows overlooking manicured lawns. Decoration in the Christian/casual/corporate vibe, where we do serious business in our flip flops and non-ironic tshirts.
For 20 years I had sat in these same offices, in the same megachurches, having the same conversations regarding numbers and participation and programs and organizational processes. Which volunteers are leading or not leading. Who’s on board with The Vision? Who is not on board with The Vision? Things that I knew were helpful and fun and desired by the congregation. However, while I always had a title of Pastor, their was very little pastoral work being done. I was only ever evaluated or paid on the number of programs, and the number of butts in the seats of those programs.
Programs that I knew from experience were not healing people. Processes and programs that were not changing lives, or turning people’s hearts toward God.
And I had to say the truth, because the prospect of my own soul collapsing under the repetitive weight of NO LIFE CHANGE finally overcame the paralyzing fear of losing my livelihood – of losing my whole identity. So I said the seven words.
“This does not work for me anymore.”
And I did not die.
What do you know about that?
Fear is an impotent liar.
So if I may ask, what are the words that you fear might kill you? Here’s a hint – they won’t. Maybe you just need a safe place to test run them. The Red Backpack can be that place.
Pushing past fear in pursuit of your unique life has become focus of this site.
Strapping on your own Red Backpack and pursuing the life that God has designed just for you. Creating a place to connect with other kindred souls, who desire healing and real life change and want to see their dreams become reality.
I do a lot of things. I continue to pastor and serve as a spiritual director for individuals. I lead groups. I speak and consult in both corporate and church settings. I lead retreats. But for this season, I want to focus here. There are a lot of us in this same boat, aware that there is an unlived life inside of us, but paralyzed by the prospect of doing something about it. That’s cool, I’ve been there, and still with it every day.
What is the dream the liar Fear is trying to starve out of you? What do you need to do to act on the dream before it dies? And where is God in all of this?
If you would share in the comments below, that will be great. You never know how much it helps others. Shoot, how much it helps me.
Or if that feels too exposed, you can email me. I promise that I will reply.
Either way, I’m glad you are here.