“We are afraid of failure. We don’t like it; we shun it, avoid it because of our inordinate desire to be thought well of by others. So we come up with a thousand brilliant excuses for doing nothing . . .

Each of us pays a heavy price for our fear of falling flat on our faces. It assures the progressive narrowing of our personalities and prevents exploration and experimentation. As we get older, we do only the things we do well. There is no growth in Christ Jesus without some difficulty and fumbling. If we are going to keep on growing, we must keep on risking failure throughout our lives . . .

How much faith, how much hope, how much love does the perpetual procrastinator really have?”

Brennan Manning, Souvenirs of Solitude

A few weeks ago, I cried while reading a food blog. It wasn’t because I was so hungry or because there was anything intrinsically tear-worthy in the avocado. Rather it was because the idea of writing about food was so comforting to me, so other-than what I write about, that reading it pulled up tears before I had a chance to figure out where they came from.

I would love to run from my work and get lost in a food blog. There is a time for that, to be quite sure. But I am grown-up enough to sense when the timing is off, when I am avoiding what I need to face, when I am putting aside the risk of failure by clicking through one more recipe.

I’m sure there are some food bloggers out there who click over to my place in order to avoid facing their own work and their potentially painful daily allotment of failure. We all have our unique shape of fear. There are no greener grasses, only different lawns.

 A thousand brilliant excuses . . .

Today as we face our dishes, our proposals, our classrooms full of the future; as we sit to create, to write, and to live on purpose, may the promise of growth outweigh our fear of stumbling.

May we remember how swiftly perfect love drives out fear.

May our thousand brilliant excuses spin around into one brilliant act of belief.

As you stand in long lines to vote, to buy gas, to renew  your drivers license; as you set out to face whatever this day holds, may you remember that you bring the Spirit of the living, loving, capable God with you wherever you go.