Minor Musings over Movies: One More Step

We all have a desire for adventure within our hearts. Some of us embrace it and race out our doors to see exotic places or do thrilling activities. Others timidly step out, wondering what will happen when we leave the place we call home, the place we are comfortable in. And others still, gruffly abhor even the thought of adventure, like Dickens’ character Scrooge, they call “Bah Humbug!” at even the slightest mention of it.

Yet, if you are living your life for Jesus, you will be faced with the greatest adventures of your life.

If you are that timid first step taker, you are in good company. I have learned, and often times tell others, you can’t let the future overwhelm you, or allow the steps you will have to take drown you in fears. You must take one step at a time, knowing Jesus is with you in each one.

That’s what Samwise does in The Fellowship of the Ring. He has lived in the Shire his entire life, experiencing a peaceful routine existence. Who knows if an adventure ever even crossed his mind? In fact, he couldn’t even take the step to ask a girl to dance, let a lone go on a quest to save the world.

Yet, there he was, embarking on this journey, and he pauses, he hesitates. Fear, sadness, and insecurity seeps in. He looks ahead to an unfamiliar path, feet planted in the comfortable.

“If I take on more step, I’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.”

It’s never been done! What lies ahead? How can he leave? I am sure in that minute, questions raced through Sam’s mind. However, with a small nudge, Sam takes that first step. As watchers and readers, we know the incredibly hard challenges that lay ahead for Sam. We may think he should have taken a step backwards, but once Sam said, “Yes”, and activated something in himself, no matter the challenges ahead, he continued to have the perseverance to take that “one more step”.

I’d say our Christian life is exactly the same. God leads us into situations we might find scary or uncomfortable. We’ll face that “farthest away form home” moment. Do I say yes to God’s leading or do I turn back and remain safe? Thankfully God will nudge us forward and  in response we should take that first step.

The rest of the journey, no matter how dangerous, should be lived “one more step” at a time. Because we activated our faith by stepping out, like Sam, we are more likely to respond in faith as challenges come along our journey.

If you are facing a scary and overwhelming list of challenges and/or tasks ahead, remember Sam and just take “one more step” until you are swept off your feet on the adventure of a lifetime with Christ.

 

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Dear Younger Me, Look Nowhere Else

Dear Younger me,

No amount of compliments , likes on Facebook or Instagram posts, you get parties you are invited to, will give you unshakable security.

What you’re looking for, that feeling of assuredness, that you are loved, you’re worth something, you are approved of, you can and will only find in one place.

When you look upon the cross, you’ll see it in Jesus’ face.

That’s the only place you’ll always find it. He’s the only one who can give you everlasting security. So stop looking everywhere else.

Olympics, Failures, and Tears

Shaun White’s victory did not just make winter Olympic history. For him, it was a personal victory. For us, an example of what to do when we do not meet up to our own and others expectations. What to do when we fail.

If you haven’t heard of Shaun White’s gold medal win at Pyeong Chang, you may just be living in a cave or not care about the Olympics.  Typically, I pay little attention to sports, but the Olympics are not just examples of great athleticism, but of great humanity and perseverance.

Shaun White had 2 gold medals in his repertoire by 2011. He was considered the best. He may have been a bit cocky too, as he competed in Sochi. Sochi had all kinds of problems already, from bad weather to badly built structures, but the Olympics are all about facing these adversities and winning over them. Shaun did not. He came in 4th, not even medaling.

From what I know, he felt his lowest mentally after that point. 4 years later, he hits his head on a ramp while practicing, needs 62 stitches in his face, and seriously faces the fear and reality that something like that could happen to him again if he keeps going.

4 months later, he wins gold in Pyeong Chang and cries tears of complete joy and relief.

When we fail in a big or small way, it’s easy to throw a pity party and go a different direction. Whenever I start a new job, I find myself failing in small ways every day. At first, I allowed these failures to define me and beat myself up over and over again at home because of them, until one day I got fired. Big fail! My world came crashing down in a way, but relief came too. My biggest fear had come true and I may have not handled it in the best way, but it shaped me none the less.

At my next job, I was terrified of messing up, being criticized, or reprimanded. Through my small failures came small victories.

My point is, failure shapes you. With each mistake your mind begins to process life differently. You begin to understand that failure will happen, you can’t stop trying when it does, and you can’t let it change the way you see yourself.

Hopefully, one day, you’ll be like White, so when you fail, rather than just continuing on, you come back better than ever and blow all expectations out of the water.