“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
And then we grow up!
My wife and I are blessed to be a part of a life group consisting of young people. These young people range in seasons from high-school, to dating, to newly wed to new parents, so we get to experience a decent range of perspectives. The one beautiful commonality though, is that we all have not yet been completely tainted by the “you’re to old for that” brush. The beauty with young people is that being young comes with less experience, sure, but less experience means less failures, and with less failures come fewer reasons not to dream. I believe God is so passionate about the young and young at heart as they possess an unqunchable desire for more. More of His presence, more of His signs and wonders, more of His crazy plans to be unleashed in their lives. The young seem to be less entangled with all the inherently “adult” responsibilities, which although not necessarily bad, seem to make us less user-friendly to God.
Picture the young graduate on fire for God and His purposes in his life. He has no mortgage bonds to pay, no retirement funds to think about, no school fees, no fear of not getting promoted. All he has is who and whose he is. He probably has no failed business ventures, no bad credit ratings, no obligations that require him to stay where he is, and not move from there until another rational decision occurs. Young people are powerful, because they don’t know it cannot be done!
It is in the midst of uncertainty that true greatness is formed, for it is not the fear of nothingness that drives us, but rather the desire to create something out of nothing. The young have an advantage, they have very little to lose, and what little they have they would gladly part with if it meant they had a chance to be a part of something greater than themselves.
However, as we get older we justify our decisions not to do this by using our situation, our responsibilities, our noble desire to keep the status quo and obviously our experience that has taught us it cannot be done. I just think it is so sad that for many, the passion to achieve great things grows smaller as our credibility to influence others with age increases.
The challenge I see that we as fathers have, is to nurture and not trample dreams, to make space for crazy ideas, to allow our sons and daughters the freedom to search for God’s purposes in their lives, without the manmade chains that quite possibly have stopped us from following what we once felt God calling us to do. “But they may fail”, you might be saying. I challenge you to ask yourselves what is a greater failure, to stop them before they have had a chance to fall, or to allow them to fall in the hope that God will catch them? Failure is a part of life, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but if they are encouraged to lead their hearts and follow what they believe God is calling them to, we may just find that even if they don’t succeed, they will never fail.
The lack of success is not failure in God’s eyes. What God is looking for is available, passionate and willing blank pieces of paper, on which to create a masterpiece. If we do this we may allow them to believe that they are powerful beyond measure, and we may also introduce them to a God who loves them so much that should they cry, He will catch every tear, and record each one in His book-Psalm 56:8