For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV
Theodore Roosevelt’s quote from 1910, really impacted me this week. I have reflected on what in means to be in the arena, in my own life, and those around me. I wonder how many people will live their lives [outside of the arena] watching and secretly wishing that they knew how to master the skill of the person inside. I entertained thoughts on what it would be like if we all found a place of surrender, experiencing the courageous vulnerability that we often critique. I couldn’t help but to wonder if our voices and actions will continue to show the discontent that sits within our heart?…Only because it seems more comfortable acting out, rather than looking within to find out why it is there.
It takes gathering and taking in information to cultivate the deepest places within, even the ones still waiting to be discovered. It’s about stepping out of what is familiar, while all the time knowing that we will still fall. Yet, at the same time, holding onto confidence and understanding that no matter what the end result will be, we will get up, dust off, and try again.
People who dare greatly have learned who they are, not by succumbing to their past mistakes, or even the ones that will come. Daring greatly means living without labels or being defined by what seems to be the “norm.” It is about stretching beyond our own beliefs and understanding that there will always be room for growth in our self and in the way we perceive others.
To be in the arena means that we have accepted that we will continue to experience pain, even if we master the skills needed.
And…..living greatly……means we won’t live in fear which paralyzes us from the next experience, or lesson that might take us a little further. Many of us live in the arena. We have fallen and we continue to get back up. We have failed, but refuse to allow the pain, from our failures, to define our identity.
We are confident in who we are because we know a God who doesn’t critique us by the standards of the world. We choose to live in vulnerability because that it is what was demonstrated to us each day that Jesus lived here on this earth.
We live in the arena because we know that we were created for more. And because we have the opportunity to be alluminated (by the example given from Christ) to all of those around us.
Let us all examine our hearts and allow the Lord to teach us how to be stretched where blindness stunts growth. May we all step into the arena, with confidence and expectation mirroring the greatness that was given by a man who calls us his own, Jesus.
May you be blessed in this day.
~Baring His Beauty