Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Flight Risk

"Everything that's worth doing, you're going to want to quit at least once." -my dad

So tell me this: were you ever just going about your business, trusting God with things, hum-diddly-um-dum...and then suddenly something opens up in front of you like a huge gaping maw of potential and your knee-jerk response is "Holy crap!" and all you want to do is turn around and flee as if your life depended on it?

No? Just me?

Up until now, I can't say I've ever really been much of a flight risk to the people in my life. I don't really bail on things. God (seriously, God) has put a tenacity in me causes people to literally have to shove me out and slam the door in my face if they want me out of their lives. And then, usually, I stand outside on the doorstep expectantly until they open it again.

But then, it happened - I found myself smack in the middle of a situation where I was stuck been gleeful excitement and pure, utter terror. I couldn't explain it, but I literally wanted to just run. Run out, get in my car, drive away, and never look back. It was a very new feeling for me.

And why?

Because I just kept thinking, "There's no way I can live up to this. I am SO not good enough." Over and over and over again. "Holy crap, I am SO not good enough!!"

And so, rather than step up and try, I wanted to flee.

But I didn't. For the record, I could have. For what I think was the first time in my life, I wanted to. Oh my gosh, but I wanted to just totally flake out. Sorry, Charlie, but I can't do it. That sounded like a much better idea than having all my shortcomings inevitably thrust under a spotlight - which, if I didn't run, they surely would be sometime in the very near future.

I knew, though, that'd I'd have been in, shall we say, very big cosmic trouble if I ran. See, that would have been pretty much the opposite of Respecting the Blessing. Spitting in God's face. Sneering at His gift. Rolling my eyes at His love towards me.

So I didn't. I stayed. Sometimes I felt like the hand of God was literally pinning me to the chair, but by Heaven, I stayed.

As I thought about it over next few days, suddenly a lot more of my life started to make sense. Why people often push me away or flee. Why people flake out on me. I admit - I often expect a lot. I invest all of myself and, apparently, that makes people feel guilty, like they have to do the same. Well, dang, no wonder they run. That's a lot to ask. Mind you, that's just who I am; I'm not asking anything of anyone else consciously. But now, I got it - because it got real up in that place quick, let me tell you.

The thing is, I am not a confident person. In fact, I'm probably the most insecure person you'll ever meet. (I try to make up for it with enthusiasm and witty comments.) Now, what is insecurity, really, but fear that you're just not good enough? Yep, that's me. I suspect that a lot of other people feel that way as well - we just don't talk about it. It's too deep. It's too much. It's something we don't want to admit to ourselves. So instead, we run. It's easier that way.

If I'm being honest, insecurity is probably my deepest-seeded sin, and one that constantly comes between me and God - and then me and the people I love. It's a maddening, vicious cycle, and I'm my own worst enemy. All the time. God and I, well, we're working on it.

I really wanted to run that day, but I couldn't. I knew it would have been a huge act of disobedience. I knew I couldn't have lived with myself. I would have allowed my own sin to ruin an incredible blessing God had given me - one I've actually been wishing for pretty much my whole life, in fact.

Now, wouldn't that have been a terrible shame?