Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Taking a Chance

If there's any doubt, don't.

I guess I've said that a million times to people. What I mean is this. If you are trying to make a decision and you feel some uncertainty in the direction you are going, don't go that way.

Now don't misunderstand me. I don't think we are always given an extremely clear answer or direction at first. However, I have found that for me, the doubt is an answer in itself. There is always some anxiety or uncertainty. There is always a little risk and some trepidation. But when there is that feeling of "I don't really know what to do," I would say keep searching. Keep looking. Keep praying. Keep asking. (I think I read that somewhere.)

Once you decide a direction, go for it. Even if it turns out wrong, at least you have an answer: That was wrong. I would rather take a chance and be wrong than just sit and worry and wait and never do anything. Taking that risk and gaining some perspective is another step in the right direction. As Thomas Edison said after failing over a thousand times at finding the right material to use as the filament for his light bulb, "I didn't want to give up because for every one that was wrong, I was one step closer to the one that was right."

Take a chance. As long as no one gets hurt, you stand to gain.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Don't Blow It

"Please forgive me and don't hate me." That's how the phone conversation started when she answered the phone. I had called a lady in our church whom I had known for several years. Not only did I know her, I had walked through some very difficult times of life with her. I had prayed for her, with her, been with her when she had cried over great losses, and offered advice when she asked for it.

Yet on this day, I called asking forgiveness. Why? Because she has been going through cancer treatments and I have not even attempted to contact her for months. It was not an intentional thing. I had thought of her often. I had seen members of her family at church and out in other places. I had even prayed for her. But I had not made any contact with her at all.

That night I put aside my insecurity and my fear of rejection (I knew she would forgive me, that's how she is) and made that call. I offered no excuses. I took responsibility and admitted my failure. She graciously said, "You know I could never hate you." I was very glad to hear it. She also said, "I will tell you it hurt though." That crushed me. I apologized again. She told me to quit it and said that even though I had not been there for her, I was here now, and that means a lot.

We talked for quite a while and I prayed with her before I hung up. I have prayed for her often since that night. I have even called. I will continue to check on her and offer to serve her in anyway I can. Why? Because serving is a lifestyle, not an event. Even when we get our life out of style, we can always return and pick up where we left off. Even when we blow it, we can make the call and ask for forgiveness. A servant's life is tough. We will fail. But we must learn from it, correct it, and move on.

Gotta go now. I need to make a call.