I’ve spent most of my life trying to stay away from being seen and yet seeking the opportunity to be a positive influence in the world. It seems harsh to live in the paradox that if you want to be an influence for good, and bless the lives of others, there will be many who will hate you and do their best to malign, slander, and find fault with you. I have not wanted to be on the receiving end of any of that. But alas, I’m tired of trying to hide the message I’ve been given because a few can be mean. It seems foolish to keep beautiful things hidden because some will not like you for sharing your experiences. If you’re going to change anything you’re going to find someone who doesn’t like the way you’re doing it. And they will oppose you. It’s inevitable.
I struggle with how people think that someone must be perfect in order to share a message and do a work for God. It’s just not true. We are all flawed, broken, weak and sinners. Not one soul will go home without having partaken of the fruit of humanity. Even Christ was human and could die and many found fault with him regardless of the fact that he WAS perfect. In fact, his whole life was about doing a work for God, and getting killed for it. Do I really think I’m going to get away without facing just a little bit of the same?
I remember when my good friend, who wrote a book, was maligned by his family, friends, strangers and even his leaders for just telling his experience. It was too well received, too influential, too much for too many to handle and it almost broke him. It became so hard for him that he stopped trying to influence the world much after that. He kinda quit. I was in pretty big judgment of him at the time and asked him if he didn’t see all the people he had influenced for good? How could he give up because of a few people who were scared of change and truth? It was painful for me to see his pain, but in my mind, the sacrifice should have been worth it because of what he was accomplishing. He, on the other hand, was living in the struggle and felt the deep pain of rejection and ridicule. Admittedly, I did not understand. I had not walked his path.
After I published my book and was called on the carpet for doing so. After I was ridiculed and maligned by a few of my friends and loved ones, I started to wonder if it was all worth it? Could I really do what others, more perfect than me, could not do? I’ll be honest, there are days when the answer is “no, I can’t” and I have to take the time and leave my post to others more courageous. But I’m starting to understand that nothing that changes the world for the better will be brought into the light without resistance. The question is how do I choose to face the resistance? What do I choose to do it with the fear of rejection and ridicule? Do I choose to let others stop me from becoming the person I desire to be; fearless, full of faith and love? It will probably always be a bit of a shock to me when someone wants to destroy someone else, but it never should stop my ability to choose truth and love.
I mean, who do I think I am?
I’m not anyone at all, and yet I’m the only one who can do and be “me”. I’m the only one who can do what God wants ME to do. Others can do their lives and do “them”, and they can do any work I’m not willing to do, but they cannot do “me” or do what I can, the way that I can do it. Ironically, to do “me” and carry my roles, I don’t need to hold the ego piece that I am somehow special, important to his work, or irreplaceable. I don’t think any of us are irreplaceable to God’s plan. He will cause things to happen the way He wants them to happen, with or without my help. I don’t need to be seen, heard, known or understood for God to succeed. I can be the nobody at the back of the room who is quiet and wants to just learn. But, I do want to do what I came here to do. And that means doing what Christ has asked me to do, regardless of how poorly or how well I end up doing it.
Part of that is to share what I’ve been taught and share it the way my personality, my skill set, and my limitations permit me to share. I pray often that somehow it’s not only a benefit to me but to someone else too. My cry to God used to be like that of another, more powerful person than I, who said, “Oh, that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!” But after trying my hand at teaching, writing and personal growth in a public forum, most days I’d choose to go back to the simpler roles, out of the public eye….. Too late.
Today my desires are more realistic. I desire to have enough courage to press the publish button, to get back on the site and write another blog post with my personal life as the subject matter, and recognize that facing my own demons is going to cost me everything, and yet still do it. “To be or not to be…” whatever it is that we have in our souls to become, that is the question for all of us, every single day. Where are you on this path? Do you stand up and speak or act, or sit down and let someone else do it? It’s going to be hard, regardless of what it looks like to anyone else who isn’t you. It’s always your decision to step into the ring or stay safe. I’m not advocating either… Both are hard.