Yep, that’s me.
“All Balls” is what my good friend Jeff calls me because I have a consistent track record of jumping before weighing the complete, rippling impact of some of my most abrupt decisions.
Have I ever regretted that?
Certainly, I have thought, “What was I thinking?!”
On the flip side, though, I learn by action.
It’s how I grow.
It is how I continue to strengthen my courage to take on bigger and bigger giants.
It’s how I feel alive.
Do I have fear in those moments?
Absolutely, but my faith in God is bigger than my fear.
God has had my back in way too many battles to let my fear keep me from charging full force into something that lights a fire inside of me.
I get bored very easily if I am not up to something new or something for which I have a ton of passion.
That is why reading is a good distraction for me; I don’t get into trouble when I escape to the world of books.
Not only do I love to read, but I also love, Love, LOVE books.
I have a library of books that takes up an entire wall of my house.
I can honestly say that I do not think I will ever purchase a digital book.
When I die, though, no library will want my books: I fold over pages, underline and asterisk meaningful passages and quotes, and fold them right in half at the binding to make them easier to hold in one hand.
Yes, I am a librarian’s worst nightmare.
A book murderer.
The book I am reading now is All In, by Mark Batterson.
I figure if I am ready to do what God calls me to do next, it would be best for me to know just what “All Balls is Going All In” entails.
The title of chapter one of All in is Pack Your Coffin.
This is going to be interesting…
“When did we start believing that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things? That faithfulness is holding the fort? That playing it safe is safe? That there is any greater privilege than sacrifice? That radical is anything but normal?
Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous. Faithfulness is not holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of hell. The will of God is not an insurance plan. It’s a daring plan…
It’s time to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. It’s time to go all in and all out for the All in All. Pack your coffin!”
Does that frighten you?
Man, that is so inspiring to me!
“God will test your faith. And those tests won’t get any easier. They will get progressively harder as the stakes get higher. And those tests will undoubtedly revolve around what is most important to you…
So the question is this: What do you need to give up… What is getting between you and God? What feeds your ego? Where do you find your security outside of Christ?”
It is time for God to get all the glory.
Okay, I will admit it; I am wondering what more God could possibly want me to let go of.
This is making me somewhat uncomfortable…does my past year of illness count toward that?
Can we take small steps?
May I see the playbook?
God is good at letting me know when things should come to an end, but He does not like to tell me what is coming.
The Lord knows full well that most of the things my family has endured over the past few years we would not have chosen, nor would we have wished them upon an enemy.
Well, maybe a worst enemy, but not just any enemy.
He likes to keep me present and nearby, so I am alert and conscious of every sign and signal He is giving.
I have become more patient and less forceful with this, namely because my adrenal insufficiency takes me from six (not ten) to zero in one, swift adrenaline rush.
What used to inspire my pit bull within to latch on for the good fight now gets weighed in my mind: “How much of my energy tank is THIS going to drain?”
I will continue to pray on this.
Next, Batterson says it is time to Burn the Ships!
This means that there can be no Plan B.
“But if we have the courage to burn the ships, God will part the river.”
What comes next?
Crash the Party!
“Jesus loved spiritual desperados.”
According to Dictionary.com, a desperado is: a bold, reckless criminal or outlaw, especially in the early days of the American West.
I don’t like that definition.
According to UrbanDictionary.com, a desperado (in summary) is: a law breaker.
The reason I like UrbanDictionary.com is because I like to try to keep up with the crazy slang kids use these days.
I also love the definition of Karin. (You will have to check that out for yourself!)
The Urban Dictionary definition is much more fitting in this circumstance according to Batterson’s examples:
Jesus loved that four friends climbed onto a building and cut a hole in the roof in order to have Him heal their friend.
He loved the bleeding woman who did not remain in seclusion due to her illness, but instead crawled through the streets to be healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ clothing.
He loved the woman who crashed the party of the Pharisees in order to anoint Him with her alabaster jar of perfume.
Jesus wants our repentance.
He wants our past, our present, and our future.
He wants it all.
He wants us to go ‘Holy Crazy’ by making a difficult decision, having a tough conversation, or by taking a crazy risk.
“Going all out for God always starts with one step of faith. It’s often the longest, hardest, and scariest step. But when we make a move that is motivated by God’s glory, it moves the heart and hand of God. There comes a moment in our lives when enough is enough. The pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change. We reject the status quo. We refuse to remain the same.”
Yes, I am ready, Lord.
In the next blog post, additional items we will look at when going All In for God are:
Picking a Fight
Taking a Stand
A Little Crazy