I Bury Dreams
“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master . . . I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.' The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you know I was after the best, why did you do less than least?’” ~ Matthew 25:24a, 25-26 (Message)
I wish I could pinpoint exactly why I’m such a cautious person.
But I can’t, and I don’t know if there’s much point in trying to untangle all the threads to find the starting point for my risk-adverse nature. While I do believe part of it boils down to hating the feeling of embarrassment, another aspect of it involves the words of the servant in the above portion of Scripture:
I was afraid I might disappoint you.
I don’t want to let anyone down, be it (still) my parents, my husband, my family, my friends, my church. Or God – no, especially not God. That would be the worst.
So I tell myself I’m too old and it’s too late. I’ve wasted too much time and too many second chances, not developed any sparks of ability or interest. I’ve simply not done enough, and God’s coming to settle accounts, and I’m going to be called wicked and lazy, a fool, and cast away because I did indeed fail. I did indeed disappoint. I fulfilled my own doomsday prophecy by letting a fear of failure and a hatred of embarrassment move me to inaction.
At the same time, however, a voice insistently tells me I’m still in the land of the living, still above the ground. It’s not too late because God doesn’t lie and His promises are sure (and indelibly in my skin) because I’ve fled to Him for refuge and can have great confidence in this if I don’t let go of the hope before me.
I’m reminded of a down-trodden man threshing grain in a wine press and arguing with God, of another who needed more than the accounts of others to believe in a risen Lord, and of a Messiah who said, “Now I call you friends” and I think, “Yes, hope – it’s still there.”
I will hope. I will do more than dream – I will act. I will do. I’ll fall, I’ll fail, and I will probably embarrass myself more times than I would like to – but at least I will have done more than “less than least”.