Thursday, January 5, 2012

What would you do??

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?

What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail?

It seems like this is a very good question to ask ourselves
as a step towards exploring our heart's desire.

This is also a good question to ask
as a step towards thinking about failure
and what that means to each of us.
What does failure look like, feel like?

I have several friends who recently lost their jobs.
In some ways I know this makes them feel like they have failed--
even though the truth is they were just collateral damage
in a wave of economic nips and tucks
or inconveniently in the path of someone's personal panic or professional jealousy.
Suddenly, even though they had no choice in the matter,
they are faced with trying to decide what to do.

The initial panic often, understandably, centers around money.
How will I live?
How will I pay my bills?
I'm too young to retire.
What's going to happen to me now? What will happen to my children?
What if I get sick and no longer have health insurance?

It's not surprising that Jesus talked about money so much and so often,
because our lives often revolve around a desire for financial stability.
Even for those of us who don't lust after wealth,
few of us want to follow the steps of St. Francis
and let go of all our possessions, all our security.

It is fine to "consider the lilies of the field"
until suddenly the possibility of any spinning and toiling
have been removed as options.
Losing your job and your salary and benefits
(if you were fortunate enough to have them)
is not theoretical;
it is real and often terrifying.
So I do not make light of finding oneself
(and it could happen to any of us)
without an obvious way to make a living,
with no continuing source of income.

But the question being posed here
is not what would you attempt to do
if money were no object.
The question here is what would you attempt to do
if you knew you could not fail?

Maybe Jesus wanted us to understand that there are times
when we are not held back because of lack of money or work.
There are times when we hold ourselves back because of our fears.

My husband has often said how much he would love to be a cartoonist.
He doesn't believe he has the artistic skills to do this.
Would he try it if he knew he could not fail?

I have often lamented how much I wish I had more time for writing.
Is it fear of failure that holds me back?

If we can free ourselves from fear of failure,what might we attempt?
What is it that really binds us from following our heart's desire?

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
What might you attempt to do even if you could fail?

What does a life lived without fears look like, feel like?

1 comment:

Tom E said...

This is very well said Jeanne.