In my devotion time this morning, I was reading a passage of scripture I have read many times; however, this time my eyes and thoughts focused on the word “leave”. In Genesis 12:1-3, the Lord says to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” How many of us would drop everything, leave our family, our jobs, even our country to follow the call of God? Yet, Abram left, not knowing exactly where he was going, but with a promise that he would be blessed and all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. I wonder what would have happened if he hadn’t left? Certainly, history would have been written differently. If Abram, who later became Abraham, had not stepped out in faith we may not be believers today. The scripture declares that Abraham is the father of us all. His stepping out, his journey of faith established a chain of events that ushered Christ into the world. We are believers because of Abraham’s leap of faith.
Well, what does all of this have to do with life coaching? It seems to me that a life that is really worth living is a life of faith. It is a life that dares to step out into the unknown, to take risks, to pursue a call or dream. It’s a life that knows how to leave the familiar and comfortable behind.
My niece just started graduate school and it’s a big step for her. She has really left the familiar, her home, her state and her friends to embark on a new journey. It’s only been a few days and the report I have heard is that it’s been tough. I am sure when my sister and brother-in-law helped her move her into a strange apartment, in a strange town, there had to be many tears. No doubt my niece probably thought, “what I have done now?” Boy, do I remember those tears. When my parents drove me from Richmond, Virginia to Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina, I think both of us cried for a week! I had never lived away from home, but college turned out to be one of the better experiences of my life. I am sure it will be for my neice as well.
The truth is, without risks there is really nothing gained. In 1992, Gail Devers ran 100 meters in 10.82 seconds to win the Olympic gold medal for the 100 meter dash. A year prior to this achievement, she could barely walk. In 1990, she was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. During her radiation treatments, she received too much radiation and experienced serious side effects. In fact, the doctors told her that if she had walked two more days both of her feet would have been amputated. They immediately modifed her treatment and by March of 1991, she returned to the track. When she entered the Olympic track stadium in 1992, she prayed, “God, help me run the race of my life.” God answered her prayer. “If you have a problem and you are about to give up,” Devers said, “think of me”. “Last year, I couldn’t walk. Now, I’ve got a gold medal for running. The last three years of my life have definitely been a miracle.”
Life is an incredible adventure and there are no doubt all kinds of provisions and miracles waiting for us, if we will just “carpe diem” (seize the day). I am constantly amazed and delighted by the women that are, not only my friends, but the women I have the opportunity to life coach. What a privilege to know and walk with them through their journeys! I can think of several women who have taken some courageous steps. They have dared to say “yes”, and to step out of their comfort zones into the unknown. As a result, their lives have radically changed. They don’t look or act the same. There is a glow in their countenance, and I believe they have a new sense of purpose and passion for life. Some of these women are taking risks to start businesses and others have left the familiar to become involved with or start ministries. They have the left the comfortable and the familiar behind and are going for it!
Others I know are taking on personal challenges to grow, stretch and reach new goals. On a personal level, I recently had the privilege of walking with a dear friend through cancer. She not only walked through cancer with complete grace, surviving radiation, chemo and hair loss; but has gone on to accept new challenges in her life! To the complete amazement of her doctor and friends, she recently ran a 26 mile marathon and is in training right now for a triathalon which involves swimming in the gulf of Mexico! Wow, what will she accomplish next? Not only has cancer not deterred her but, in all likelihood, has probably emboldened her to take new risks and accept new challenges.
Harry Emerson Fosdick said, “It is cynicism and fear that freeze life; it is faith that thaws it out, releases it, sets it free.” Maybe you and I don’t need to leave our country like Abraham did, but maybe we do need to get off the sideline of life and jump in, take a risk. When we dare to leave the familiar and comfortable behind, I believe we begin to live a life really worth living. When we step out in faith, all kinds of doors and opportunities open to us that we never dreamed possible. We can look back over our lives like Gail Devers and and say, wow, didn’t we experience the miraculous!