There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
I fell in love with this quote the other day. Someone posted the last bit on social media and it claimed me on a very deep and personal level. The picture with the quote was of a child dressed up in faery wings. I imagined the scene between a child and a parent. Which one am I? I know immediately. What about you? Which one are you?
I didn’t arrange this honestly, but the theme of bravery has been coursing through my life for a while now. Which is why it’s popping up in my blog a lot. My husband is preaching on it. (No, we are not collaborating!) I’ve been studying Esther. I just finished the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, which has a discourse on bravery running through all three books. “Be Brave” is the motto of one of the groups or factions and the main character wrestles with what this really means, to be brave. So when I read this quote, I immediately saw it through the filter of bravery and fear.
So often we are afraid to try. Fear strangles the breath and life out of everything and only dark remains. “What if I fall?” we whisper to ourselves. When did self-preservation become the be all and end all of life? Better not expect too much. Expectations equal disappointment, right? Aim low.
I’ve fallen for these lies. Now I’m shoving them back from where they came. The people who are
happiest in life, no, the people who are most content with their lives are the people who at least tried. As Mark said yesterday. They jumped. Chances are they ended up flying too. Maybe not at first but eventually. They didn’t give up. They kept jumping because their goal was to fly. Their focus was not falling. They are the brave.
Here’s another little gem I found a few years back. Hanson’s poetry made me think of it: “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.” – Marianne Williamson, from Return to Love.
There’s more but it’s too long to put here. This made me think that maybe sometimes it’s not that we are afraid to fall but we are afraid of the flying. Especially sometimes in church circles, flying is frowned upon. Shhh. You didn’t hear it from me but it’s true. It gets mixed up in the highly competitive and comparison driven world we live in. An egocentric driven success is not what I’m talking about here. Anywhere pride lives, well, as my son says, “It’s messed up.”
People will always want to put a label on your flying or light. At times it makes us want to hide it under a bushel so to speak. A blogger I follow, Adelle Gabrielson writes about shining in her blog. Williamson’s quote brought her blog to mind. We need to shine! “Playing small does not serve the world.” What would have happened had Paul played it small? “Oh I’m such a bad person. I can’t possibly go and preach the good news. What would people think?”
What about Peter or Deborah? Your favourite artist? Billy Graham or Beth Moore? What about that brilliant prof or coach? Your own parents? Would shoving their talents away from the world, do any good whatsoever? I don’t think so. I would hate to think what the world would be like without those people who made a difference in our lives. Who focused on flying rather falling. If you know people who have let the fear of falling rule their lives, you’ve already witness the damage of not trying. The light goes out but guess what? It’s never too late to fan that light back into existence. It’s not.
Being brave isn’t always about big accomplishments, sometimes it’s about taking the next step. Getting up out of bed. Working towards a dream against all odds. Loving your children even when it’s hard. Going to work. Standing up for what you believe. Some days these are all hard to do. It takes some courage to do it. Letting our light shine in the darkness around us. Although these seem small, they are in fact big. It’s an oxymoron, I know.
God is calling us to be brave. To be the person He created us to be. He asking us to fly.
“But what if I fall?”
His answer? Beloved, I’ve got you if you do. And every time after, until you fly.