We had a pretty full weekend, but the highlight was a little get together that was labeled: Peg Talk 2014.
It was essentially a group of around 50 people, getting together to share in a bit of goodness.
Designed after the famous TED talks, each person (or couple) was given 2 minutes to share a bit about what God was doing in their life.
The theme was goodness, but the topics were varied. One woman spoke about the one year anniversary of her daughter’s snowmobile accident, from which she was miraculously saved, while another spoke about her husband’s very recent and tragic death.
One man simply spoke about the joy and silence of a good fishing spot.
It was beautiful. Each person’s take on what goodness was, whether it be surviving a lost job or cherishing a new born daughter, was inspiring, unique, and challenging.
It was also intimidating.
This was an impressive group of Christians.
There were some people visiting from Toth Ministries, who came out from Denver to share a recently finished documentary about their Jolly Roadshow–a worship, joy and music filled tour of 5 states completed late last summer.
Some friends or ours, who are about to embark on a new life in the Philippines, the Coulter Family, were also present. They will be working along side an orphanage on Samal Island, both through midwifery as well as developing sustainable agriculture for those living there.
PLUS, the event itself was held in the warehouse of Light Gives Heat. An amazing ministry that provides employment to women in Africa–making bracelets, necklaces, earrings and more–that are sold here, in America, as well as online.
Needless to say, it was a bit daunting. I’m SO glad wine was involved.
Hearing the people associated with these exciting ministries speak about God’s goodness was both deeply beautiful and incredibly humbling.
What could I possible offer?
But, I did speak, (It was only 2 minutes after all) and I spoke about vulnerability.
And what better time to speak about vulnerability then to a group of fabulously cool and impressively active missionaries. (Did i mention that they are also all VERY good-looking?)
I decided to use my 2 minutes on vulnerability because, since starting this blog, I’ve realized that I’m going to have to embrace being a bit more exposed in order to pursue these passions of mine in an authentic way.
Plus, I had just posted a story about a rough time in my marriage, which left me feeling immensely vulnerable.
Conveniently for me, I have recently started reading the book, Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown, who has dedicated most of her adult life to the study of vulnerability, and shame, and the power they both hold.
What great timing!
(It’s a fascinating read–I definitely recommend it. Ms. Brown also did a TED talk on the subject.)
The question Brene Brown poses in her book–and what I chose to speak about–is not “what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail” because that requires no bravery at all. Instead “what’s worth doing even if you fail”?
Well…I can think of a few things:
Things like love.
Love is always worth pursuing, whether it’s reciprocated or not.
Or Christianity itself, because at that I CONSTANTLY fail.
At least according to my standards.
I fall short of the glory of God with every living moment of my life, but his greatness is still worth pursuing. Even when I fall so hard that I look like just another hypocritical Bible-thumper, the truth of the Gospel is still worth my devotion.
And, we all have others. Dreams that are eating us up inside for lack of action. Passions that need to be pursued before they kill us.
Teddy Roosevelt once gave a speech that’s been titled “The Man in the Arena” and this is what he says:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
What things are we holding back? What vulnerabilities do we hide in shame for fear of failure?
LET’S STOP IT!
Let’s not be like the critics–let’s join the man in the Arena.
Let’s let our faces get dirty and our hands’ blistered.
Let’s not be placed with the cold, timid souls who never allow themselves to be vulnerable or pursue their dreams.
And let’s not allow ourselves to be intimidated by a room full of people with fancier stories, or bigger ministries, or prettier faces.
Let’s dare greatly.
even if we fail,
at least we tried
even if we fail,
it will be worth it.