Five Minute Friday – Dive

5-minute-friday-1 It’s Friday!

I missed the last Five Minute Friday… the day, the week, the whole month of December… flew by. And here I am, almost missing it again.

But not.

I watch so many people… myself sometimes too… standing on the edge of everything beautiful and good and true. Seeing that, within reach, lie our hopes, our dreams… thrills that usher life into our hearts and souls.

Yet our feet stay rooted.

Because those dreams and hopes are within reach… but first a step is needed. One small step. And it happens to lead off of a cliff of all things familiar, known, and comfortable. This step becomes a dive into a sea of all that we’ve longed for.

Fear nails us to the stoney edge. The wind beats at our faces, tells us that to let go and dive in will lead to ultimate ruin, disappointment, failure. Because who are we to have what we hope for?

Inadequate. Insufficient. Insecure.

What would happen if we could actually live the life we want? Ruin? Sabotage? The wind is strong and convincing.

If we let it be. If we listen to its voice and agree.

But it’s a lie.

We must dive in! Who are we not to give it a try? Failure is no end… only an ushered step onto a better path… a guard rail that keeps us going the right direction. Closed doors are not rejection… no, they are direction. Our fears deceive us into thinking that the cliffy edge is a better place to stay… gazing upon our possibilities with hopelessness.

But not me, not this year. I want to dive in. I want to flail and fling and fail… so that I can get closer to succeeding. I want the doors to close like the formation of a grand arrow pointing me to my destiny… the purposes and plans for which God has already determined for me. How easily I would be distracted and lost if there weren’t bowling “bumper guards” of life to keep me from going down the gutter. Missing the pins altogether.

2013 will be a year of diving. Diving into a large city of other writers, strangers yet, to see how I can be stretched, grown, and mentored in my craft. Diving into teaching a Creative Writing course to missionary high schoolers… when I’ve NEVER been a teacher. Diving into new languages, new cultures, new experiences… all of which are terrifying and thrilling… knowing that there are so many opportunities for failure… for direction. For purpose.

Without diving in to the scary, uncontrollable possibilities of life… there is no purpose greater than the small, feeble ones we can manage on our own.

A fun video by Steven Curtis Chapman… Diving In 🙂

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXqXIicm8uU?rel=0]

{Dad} and the Bigger Picture

This, I believe, is one of the greatest lessons my dad has taught me…

One that has spared me many undue heartache.

One that I wish I’d learned much sooner… but am grateful to have learned at all.

The wisdom of living assumption-free, trust-filled, and believing in more than I can see.

To take in a circumstance with all that my eyes, ears, and heart can understand… and then believe that there is more to it than I can know… and to rest in the assurance that Someone knows. It doesn’t have to be me.

Though I often wish it were.

How easy it is to look at a weed… one sole weed… and determine that the entire garden must be over-ridden with this decrepit beauty-choker. What frustration, hopelessness, and despair could overwhelm me… if I never looked up.

Never looked up to see a beautifully flourishing garden… weed-free.

To pull just one weed and be at ease.

One weed at a time.

Or maybe it’s not a weed.

But a miscarriage. Financial loss. Death of a loved one. Disease. A broken relationship. An unexpected bill.

A friend’s comment. Or lack of comment.

An envied gift given to another.

Whatever it may be… it’s an opportunity to allow that one moment to suck you in and convince you that God is dead, life is unworthy of living, and what you see is all there is… and it is unexplainable. Unacceptable. Unlivable.

Oh how I’ve bore up under these moments! These lies! When I was convinced that death was far better than life! That my dad must hate me. That no one loves me. Not one.

Only to have my head lifted.

To see a garden… beautiful, weed-free… goodness that overwhelms a moment. A circumstance. A broken expectation.

To see that her death changed more lives that her life had… because of her life lived… then given over.

To realize the unspoken comment… wasn’t absent from mind and heart, just air.

That the loss of what I thought I wanted and needed… wasn’t what I wanted or needed… and I was free from the tangle.

To hand over something I did want… knowing that I can be better without it.

To surrender what I see… and trade it in for the hope of what is unseen. The knowledge that is unknown.

To recognize the command as an invitation… the discipline as life-sparing.

Hate… not as hate, but of a very hard love… a love needed to see true change. The hardest kind of love… but the truest.

To live a life that trusts the unseen, that believes and hopes in the greater… that refuses to waste pain for the greatness that can come from it. To be mastered by no moment, no fickle feeling, no thing that we’ve established as greater than we are.

Save One.

The One who sees all, knows all, understands all, offers all.

For free.

To rest in the assurance that I am loved and all is for my good. What a life of peace and security!

My dad has taught me this… through difficult lessons, unexpected surprises, moment of humility and regret at having jumped to conclusions.

May this be a lesson I continue to grasp… in every moment of every day, and live out in such a way that the world around me releases the hold of false assumptions, accusation, self-absorbed thinking, generalizations of each moment onto every moment.

And meet my dad.

Because he’d love to show you his garden.

Your garden.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 8 of 31 Days in 2012.