Bonnie Gray is the soulful author of Whispers of Rest and Finding Spiritual Whitespace. An inspirational speaker and retreat leader, she has touched thousands of lives through storytelling, visual arts, nature, prayer and meditation. Bonnie’s writing is featured on Relevant Magazine, DaySpring (in)courage, and Christianity Today. She lives in California with her husband and their two sons. Visit Bonnie at www.thebonniegray.com and connect with her @thebonniegray on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
"The choices are never easy. We can nurse wounds of having been cheated in life, or we can be grateful and joyful, even though there seems to be little reason for it. It is this power to choose that adds dignity to our humanity." ~ Gerald Sittser, Professor of Christian Spirituality
The other day, someone asked me whether I was a Glass-Half-Full or Glass-Half-Empty type of person. I hadn't been asked that in a while and stopped to think about it.
"Well... I used to totally see the glass half full when I was younger. Until I got burned living that way.
I became the glass-half-empty type. I started seeing how everything could go wrong, to protect myself against making mistakes."
The funny thing is, life did seem to get better. I felt more in control. I took pride in successfully predicting how the chips would fall.
But, I noticed a side-affect of such "smart" living. I started losing my edge. My faith edge.
I started disappearing in a shroud of avoiding rejection -- whether it was relational or taking risks with new things. Changes were subtle, but my consistent picks to stay safe yielded a life of predictability... creating a wall of people-pleasing, fearful calculations that made spontaneity and joy pretty scarce.
Thank God, my memories of the glass-half-full life came back to bug me every so often. In the form of... regrets.
I hid myself from the possibility of pain so well, I reached a point where the pain of regret outgrew the pain of rejection.
I got it wrong. I will be burned regardless of how I saw the water in my glass.
The difference in living a fearless life versus a fearful life, however, was unmistakable. One seeks out the good, while the other lives to control the bad.
Will I live creating a trail of regrets on what I coulda-woulda done? Or will I choose to live, trying to be fearless, and actually do this thing called life? I came up with The Four Golden Rules of Fearless Living and started coming out of my shell:
1. Choose the Harder Choice.
2. Keep It Real With Others.
3. Practice Seeing the Glass-Half-Full.
4. Pray For Courage To Make Mistakes.
These four pointers challenged me to keep my faith edges sharp.
Each time we attempt one of the above, we are exercising faith.
We risk rejection for the opportunity to live true to the desires God's placed in us.
We exercise choice, trusting that God's plan for us is bigger than our mistakes.
It's ultimately a question of whether we trust in God's goodness.
-- Catch me when I fall?
-- Replenish friends if I'm betrayed?
-- Heal my broken bones if I'm hurt?
-- Restock the storehouses if I'm robbed?
-- Still bless me, when I make mistakes?
I'm not saying it's easy, but consider the alternative: living by the rules of rejection.
Acquiescing to fear might seem easier. But, the cost to living less than the life God intended is also steeper than it appears. I still get hurt, but I am learning to love my glass half-full.
Whenever I'm tempted to go back to the way I was, I return to the One who drank the cup that looked half empty one dark night.
He fills my cup every time.
"If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.
But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it"
~ Jesus, Luke 9:24
Is your glass half full or half empty?
Which of the Four Fearless Rules is God nudging you to try?
Pull up a chair. It's been ages since we last shared. Click to share a comment. I'm all ears.
By Bonnie Gray, the FaithBarista serving up shots of faith for everyday life.
Bonnie Gray is an inspiring Christian writer and blogger, offering encouragement to keep faith fresh in the daily grind. Her writing springs from the belief that the beauty of faith often takes place when life goes off script. Bonnie is the Founder of FaithBarista.com and featured writer for Hallmark subsidiary DaySpring's (in)Courage. Bonnie is currently working on her debut book, due to release in 2013 by Revell Books. Bonnie is a native Californian living in the heart of Silicon Valley with her best friend Hubby, wrangling their two heaven-sent boys on the homestead.
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