To many people, I may seem rather bold. I am not shy to share my opinions, even when I know they will not meet a warm reception. And theres that dramatic mid-life career change from business to ministry and the sudden relocation from one side of the Atlantic to the other... surely it takes some backbone to pull of changes like these?
The honest truth is, that I have always wrestled with fears and timidity - and still do. There have been times - too numerous to count - when I have chosen to avoid the new experience and to stay snug, safe, and comfortable at home. My mind rebels against the idea of an adventure as I think about what to do next. A proposed adventure: I'm tired, not feeling well, or - the most effective - too much work to do!
Oh, I'm keen to try new things, but only if they can be tried in the comfort of a familiar environment.
I have to force myself to do anything more and when I do I feel a cold kind of fear flowing down my spine. I know that I could very easily end up as one of those old retired guys with slippers and a recliner chair leaving the house only to get the newspaper or for new batteries to the TV remote. Hell! I already have the recliner!
So why not give in to my urge toward comfort - why not abstain from challenges if they are so uncomfortable?
At every point in our lives we have to make a decision of whether to choose life or death. Death is easy. Living is hard. We are more like sharks than we know. Death means to stop moving, stop changing, stop growing. It means to go into the embracing night without a care.
Living means growing and changing. To live is to feel discomfort and pain along with the pleasure and the joy. It is to feel the awkwardness of not speaking the language, not knowing the customs, not being able to differentiate safety from danger. It is to feel the floor drop out beneath you. Living is diving into the wild mess of life not knowing what's coming next except that it will challenge and change you.
Today, I'll choose life. Right now, I'm still ready to be a part of this living connection that means so very much to us all - with all of its trials.
I hope to live as long as I am alive.