I trust God. I have no doubt that whatever God wants for me is best for me. God is loving and patient. God has my back.
God is not the problem. Fear is the problem. My fear.
You know what I'm talking about, don't you? The fear that keeps you from doing your best work.
Fear of ridicule.
Fear of making others mad.
Fear of starvation.
Fear of letting people down.
Fear of failure.
Fear of disappointing God.
Fear of having wasted your time.
When I wrote A Dallas Willard Dictionary I did it because I knew people who needed a guide to Willard's words and work. I am very glad I took the two years to write it, and later to update it, because some folks have found it useful.
But the Dictionary was a way to hide. If I was teaching Willard I didn't have to write O'Rourke.
When I started pastoring at Covenant of the Cross, I knew I had solid spiritual formation material to share. I have done good work there. It has also been a great place to hide, because pastoring is Good and Noble and Right and essentially not about me. Self-deprecation is considered a virtue, as is poverty.
When God gave Benton Stokes and me the vision of taking School For Seekers on the road, I couldn't hide anymore. Not really. Because School For Seekers is us, and what God is doing through us transforms minds and hearts.
Just as God has more work to do in me, I have more work to do in the world. Risky, risktaking work. Not behind someone else, making him or her look good.
In front, naming what I do, claiming what God does through me.
What I do helps people change their lives, I help people change their lives.
I hereby declare 2018 The Year Without Fear.
And I want you to join me in becoming fearless. Four questions:
What have you been afraid to do?
Whose disapproval is holding you back?
Which ancient voices tell you that you shouldn't shine, shouldn't do what God has gifted you to do?
Are you ready to change?
The world needs your voice. The world needs your experience.
I am not alone. You are not alone. But we do need each other.
When you sign up below, you'll join the special 2018: The Year Without Fear community. You'll be connected with others who are taking fear by the throat and thrashing it. You'll get regular emails from me to encourage you and share my own journey.
Are you ready to take a leap? Sign up, and let's both declare it:
2018: The Year Without Fear.