One of my favorite movies stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They’re outlaws, so I don’t want you to use them as role models, but there are a lot of character lessons in that film. One tight spot the lovable thieves find themselves in is hiding between a rock and a rather high cliff while being surrounded by gunmen. That’s a bad day. Their only way of escaping is to jump off the cliff into the river below, but for some reason Sundance just won’t do it. He’d rather stay and fight to the death (a fight he’d surely lose). It turns out Sundance can’t swim. Sometimes our fears stop us from thinking we can succeed. Sometimes we’d rather face certain failure instead of uncertain success, but God has created us with gifts and a purpose:
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:6-8)
The term “walking with God” implies that we’re actually moving. Sundance would have accomplished nothing by staying behind the rock. Sometimes God only gives us one direction to go because He wants us to learn He can be trusted, He wants us to know He’s perfectly capable of teaching us to swim if there’s a river he needs us to cross. Don’t be paralyzed by a fear of the unknown or because you think someone else can swim better than you. God has mapped out a path for you and your specific talents. That path is important to Him, so it should be important to us.
Don’t Think: “I’m not good enough.”
Think: “God has created me with gifts and a purpose.”
Engage: Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough, that you’d be better off just staying put? How did you fight that feeling?
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© Joshua J. Masters and Think This, Not That, 2012.
Photo Credit: Jesse Therrien