I have chosen words to describe the kind of year I want 2014 to be. One of those words is boldness. Boldness is defined as the trait of being willing to undertake things that involve risk or danger.
Application to my life would include risk more than danger. I tend to be one that does not take risks, especially when I am alone. I rarely do things alone. I’ve only eaten in a restaurant alone one time. It was a matter of eat alone or starve. I’ve never gone to a movie alone. I was well into my 30’s before I would go to the mall alone. To this day is it not my favorite thing to do. I’ve never gotten in my car and gone for a drive to explore… alone. I’m not known for being adventurous. At the age of 30 I was forced to live alone for the first time. That was a huge adjustment.
Bottom line… I’m not a very big risk taker. I think about things I’d like to do and then never end up doing them. This past year I figured out that thinking about doing something is not the same as actually doing it. I have a small list of regrets of things I did not do during my 20 years in CA. I thought about them, but never acted on them.
So this brings me to last Friday. For the past 8 weeks, I have wanted to head to Gonzaga University campus to photograph the amazingly beautiful St. Al’s Catholic Church. One Monday evening on my way home, I was crying out to God about some difficult things we were going through. I was praying for peace and answers and comfort. As I turned the corner onto Mission, there off to my right were these two crosses lit up and beautiful. They were atop steeples. I had never seen them… and this is a route I take to and from work. Immediately, I felt a peace fall over me. It’s as if God put them up there just for me… and just the right moment.
Several days later I was driving the same route just as the sun was going down. As I turned the same corner, the two crosses were gleaming in the setting sunlight. It was breath-taking. My first thought was that I needed to photograph those crosses atop the church. Unfortunately, I was heading to an appointment and was not able to stop. I promised myself that I’d take my good camera and photograph them at sunset.
I spent the next few weeks thinking about it as I passed them each day. I even made several attempts to get there in the afternoon setting sun, but something always came up. While I wanted to do this in the worst way, my lack of boldness to step out into an adventure on my own got in the way.
Last Friday I was heading home after an appointment and had a bit of extra time. As I was driving down Mission I suddenly had a very strong urge to just do it! I turned around, made my way to the campus and found a parking spot. Out into the chilly wind I went with my iPhone! No fancy camera, just my trusty phone. This whole adventure took about 5 minutes! There was only so much I could do with my iPhone.
The conditions were not exactly as I’d hoped. The sky was cloudy. It was 11:00 AM, not sunset. I did not have my good camera.
But alas, I’d followed through with something that I’d longed to do! While this was really just a baby step, it was huge! It was bold for me to venture out on my own. Like I said… baby steps. Now I know I can do this all by myself! Alright… stop laughing! Everyone has to start out small! It’s rather a challenge to myself now to do something a little more daring!
Too much of life is passing me by as I sit back in my safe world… not taking risks.
Since my little (and I emphasize little) outing on Friday, I’ve been thinking about other areas of my life that lack boldness.
It does not seem to be too much of an issue in my professional life. I step out and do things with nary a thought.
Lately, I’ve been asking God for more boldness in my faith. If I can step out and confidently share my professional knowledge with people, why can’t I share my heart for Jesus with people.
I’ve also boldly been asking God to change me… use me… break my heart for things that breaks His. Boldly. With a passion I’ve never had before. To speak boldly into lives of those around me.
I’m not sure where this sudden urge to walk and talk and live in a boldness like never before has come from. Perhaps He’s preparing me for something that is going to require me to be very bold… to act in boldness. Maybe something where my boldness is key to my survival. I really don’t know.
What I do know is that this boldness is new and empowering. I’m excited for the coming days, weeks and months. I’m looking forward to the places my new found boldness will take me.