Tuesday, October 19, 2010
The Dare (Part One)
My husband is one of those persons who, with eyes glittering in delight, steps as close to an edge as possible, pushes buttons and flicks switches to see what they do (once shutting our friends' detached garage door as the startled kids scrambled away), and tests warnings to see if they are justified. He likes a dare.
One time when we were snorkeling off the coast of Australia, I watched him dive down and stick his hand in the open mouth of a giant clam. He wanted to see how fast it closed. He kept his fingers that time, but it was when he dared the trigger fish that he almost lost his pointer tip. We bought an outrageously beautiful picasso trigger fish for our salt water tank. It was a mighty fish, strong and feisty. At night, it popped up a stiff fin on its back and locked itself into a parking place in the rocks. We knew it had powerful jaws and sharp teeth, and preyed on other fish, but Bob wanted to see if it would attack his finger if he dangled it in the tank.
No sooner had his finger broken the surface of the water when the fish surged. We heard the loud snap of its jaws as Bob pulled his hand back milliseconds before it became fish food. Lest you think I'm married to a delayed delinquent, Bob's propensity to take a dare has a positive side: He dares to believe God, and he encourages me to do also.
I've been hanging out with God for quite a while now, certainly long enough to think I believed Him. But long-term relationships can settle into routine expectations, can get tainted with ennui, and lose their fervor. God's been stirring us up lately, nudging us into a deeper level of knowing, daring us to believe He is exactly who He says He is, and that we are exactly who He says we are--His beloved.
Sometimes a book will provide the impetus to jar lose some bit of unbelief and put us back on track. Bruce Wilkinson's You Were Born for This was an inspiration for me to stop worrying about what I wasn't and start believing what God was.
On Friday, I'll share a simple story (do hope I haven't already) of a moment at a writers conference when, inspired by that book's message, I dared to believe.