A number of years ago, when I responded to God’s call to full-time vocational ministry, I willingly abandoned other lines of work that would have been much more financially stable (in particular, in the fields of consulting and marketing).

At the time, being young, single, and idealistic, it wasn’t too much to sacrifice financial gain for the sake of the call. Today, as a husband and father, it would be a significantly more difficult decision. Not because I believe in serving God any less, but because there is so much more at stake.

Over the last couple of year, I’ve been serving in a church, editing part-time online, and hustling for whatever freelance design gigs I can in order to make ends meet. As ‘Ye says, I had to did what I had to did ’cause I had to get. Please don’t misunderstand: I will joyfully sacrifice my time and comfort in order to provide for my family.

However, this has not left much time for self-reflection, particularly about big-picture or long-term dreams that God has put on my heart.

I want my life to count for the Kingdom – to see the oppressed set free, the lonely set in families, and for freedom songs to be sung in Jesus’ name anywhere and everywhere. When these God-dreams slam into reality, though, they are delayed and I can feel stuck. I get the feeling many of us feel that way.

It’s not always dramatic tragedy that sidetracks us but, often, a low-grade dissatisfaction with things as they are (and an unwillingness to change course).

My friend Marko offered up this compelling insight recently:

You don’t lack the ability to make the decision; what you lack is the willingness to make the wrong decision.

Leadership in faith is seeing what is not yet, but one day — by the grace of God — will be.

Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of changing things up: These are dream-killers. Thankfully, we are not left alone in this fight:

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. – 1 John 4:18

It’s time for different outcomes. And that means different approaches — both to the big-picture and the mundane, everyday business of faithfulness.

I had an insightful conversation with my daughter recently. I grew up with so much fear, and I want her to be free of that burden so she can be everything God dreams of her becoming. We were discussing failure and risk, and she said to me:

The pain of failing only lasts a little while. But the lessons you learn from it stick with you for a long time.

Here’s to not getting stuck, but driving ahead through the fear — and failure — in grace and love.

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