Picture*photo credit http://livebyquotes.com
There is a balancing act to every Christian's life. It's the balance of being called to "clothe yourself in humility" and the call to greatness.

The Bible says (in a couple of places) that God draws near to the humble but resists the proud.

And who could blame Him really? A truly humble person is so much better to hang out with. They are more interested in what the other person has to say. A humble person is comfortable in their own skin. In fact, they're not thinking about themselves at all, much less worrying about themselves.

There's a lie that tells us that humility is having a low opinion of oneself. That humble people hate themselves. The lie screams that to be humble you have to tell yourself "I'm no good. I'm worthless. I've failed again. Why would God ever love a sinner like me?"

I know this because I've believed the lie for more years than I care to admit. I thought to be a good Christian I had to crucify myself. Tell myself how terrible I was, how much of a failure I was, how much I hated myself.

These are lies that I believed and this is NOT humility.

We have a tendency to overcomplicate things here on this side of the paper sky. We hold ourselves to a perfect standard and destroy ourselves when we fail, but Jesus has already borne our sins on the cross. To try to force perfection within ourselves is like telling Christ "thanks for dying and everything, but I don't need it. I got this." Accept yourself, warts and all because Christ already has.

 I know I have faults, I know I mess up, but God loves me as I am. Not some perfect future version of myself. Not my potential. But He loves and died for who I am. Right now.

If God can accept me as I am, then so can I. When I fail, I pick myself up and try to do better next time. No more laying face first to the earth, wallowing in my own self hatred.

That being said, I say a person can be humble and believe that they have greatness inside of them. No one ever achieved greatness until they believed it first. 

In Donald Miller's Storyline he shares a story that resonates this fact.

"Years ago I read a book by Dwight Eisenhower in which he talked about his mother's belief that every child should be raised to understand if they didn't exist their family would fall apart. Imagine that for a second. Imagine a world in which every person understood they were needed in the world, that they could be the solution to a problem. Eisenhower is best known for being President, but before he was President he led troops in World War II, uniting the allies in the fight against Hitler. And why? It's likely because he was raised to believe the world needed him and even expected something from him."

I believe there is greatness inside of me, that I am meant for great things. But more importantly there is greatness inside of YOU! I believe YOU are meant for great things. The world needs you.

An "awe shucks" attitude and self hatred won't get us there. Is there a story burning inside of you? A business? An idea for ministry that you are afraid to try because you think it's too big only for others? Do it! Seriously! There is a huge possibility that only you can.

Don't believe the lies. Humility is simply caring more about others, not caring less about yourself. Mine the gold from your soul. Go and be great. Please. The world needs you...really. I'll go with you.

PictureCreative thinking...don't be afraid.
I have a friend that is a filmmaker. He isn't famous. He hasn't made anything for a studio, but once every year or so he pours himself into a script. Imagining every detail, every shot, every lighting cue...and then...he makes it.

He is a filmmaker.

Once a week or so we get together in one our favorite coffee shops in the city to discuss stories, ideas, unknot tricky plot points and dream.

He is convinced that the world is split into two different kinds of people. Creatives and non-creatives.  He says that creative people create because they have to. They aren't given a choice. They are just being who they are.

I disagree...

I think everyone is creative. I just think people that are considered "non-creative" simply haven't found their creative outlet. Or they are afraid to try.

I think everyone is creative because we were formed in the image of God. God is the most creative force in all of existence. He CREATED existence. Everything you see, feel, hear, taste and touch is something He dreamed up. He designed chords note by note, He created melody and harmony. He paints with every color. His palette is endless. He sculpted the complex curves of the mountains, He painted the breathtaking nebulas that we can only now photograph.

And we were created in His image.

So, if we are all creative then why does it seem like only a chosen few are creating? It's because it IS scary to try. It's so much safer to stay put not move. If I never try I'll never fail.

Here's the thing about Dreaming. When me and my filmmaker friend dream, we never dream about the results. We don't hope that one day he'll be a famous director, or that'll I'll have a book that's a bestseller.

We dream about the work. We imagine the movies, the stories, the books. We hope for the best but don't get bogged down worrying whether others will like it or get it. Just the creative expression.

What have you wanted to do? Try it! Make the work the reward. The freeing feeling of unabashed creativity. That's when I feel the most like myself. After I've written. After my Art has washed from my soul the dust of everyday life.

You are a creative. Now go and do.

**photo credit http://thinkjarcollective.com

photo credit http://scififx.com
We are all time travelers in our own way. 

We tell ourselves that we live in the present, that we can only exist in the now. We've convinced ourselves that our only experiences are linear, cause to effect. Past to present. Present to future.

But this is not true. Many of us travel to the past on a daily basis, wallowing in nostalgia, eating the fruits of yesterday. Others completely live in their past. Setting up a camp, laying down at a traumatic moment and existing only there, never moving forward, never experiencing their own present, their own future.

Others look only to the future, speculating, feeling their life can only start in the future and never now. Waiting, waiting, waiting for their real life to begin. Only in the future after I get married, after I have children, after my children are grown, after I move to New York, LA, Chicago, only then can I chase my dream and become the hero to my own story. Never in the moment, missing all that is good about the now. Some wait too long, awaiting some unknown inciting incident and miss their entire life.

There are those I know that lament their years, are ashamed to admit they are in their late twenties, early thirties, forties, fifties. They pretend they are younger, still relevant to our youth worshiping culture. Never embracing the gift that is now. The person they are, the sum of their experiences.

The fact remains that the best time for us is the present. Right now. This is where we belong. The best time for you to start something new is right now, not tomorrow, not yesterday. The best time for the person that you are is this time,this moment. 

You learn more everyday. You become the person you were meant to be a little more everyday. If this is true then your best days are always ahead of you, don't rush to meet them, don't drag your feet thinking your best is the past. 

Stop the wandering, leave the past, leave the future, plant your feet in the present. Experience this moment. Try something new, set a new goal. Start today. It's the only one you have.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
C.S. Lewis