At the onset of this year, many of us were discussing our “One Little Word” themes to steer our course through 2015. A group of us decided to collaborate further by blogging each week, reflecting on the message carried by the terms we had selected.
My friend Margaret Simon chose the word “Reach” to guide her through this year.
A simple little word, yet one that requires vulnerability. The recognition that I am not yet complete. I haven’t yet accomplished my dreams. I have not fully realized my potential.
Reach implies discontent. I don’t reach for what I already have, but for what I long for. What I want. To reach is to admit I am not fully whole.
Reach also requires courage. It requires risk, because my reach may not extend far enough. I may strain, and persist, and yet come up empty. I may reach, only to find the rewards that I strive for have already been claimed by others.
I may fail.
To reach, demands audacity.
To reach, is to claim life.
To celebrate this great journey.
When I’m reaching, I’m living.
On the precipice.
When I’m stagnant,
The story of our faith is written by audacious men and women.
It is written by those who reach.
Abraham, willing to set his son on the altar.
Moses, timid and faint, boldly leading the masses from Egypt.
Esther, setting her crown aside “for such a time as this”.
Jonathan and his bold armor-bearer, who scaled the enemy fortress with no assurance of victory.
Impetuous Peter, who walked out on the water.
Martin Luther King Jr., who knew he may not get to the promised land, but assured us that we would see the day when people would be valued by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
Eleanor Roosevelt, who reminded us to intentionally walk into our fears, challenging us to “do the thing we think we cannot do”.
These were audacious men and women. They embraced a life that reaches.
These are the type of people I crave in my life. I search for them to push me as a husband, father, teacher, and friend. I look for them to push me as a runner; as a writer; and as a learner. I search for them in scripture; in books; in the news, and in my social circles.
And I look for him in the mirror.
One of my 2015 goals is to ignite others. To spur them on, through encouragement, modeling, and sometimes a friendly nudge. But I also have to ignite myself.
I need to reach.
I need look in the mirror to push myself; to honor the gifts and talents I’ve been given; and make sure I am giving my best.
I look, because I want to embrace my own reach.
“Dream no small dreams. They have no power to stir the hearts of men.” ― Victor Hugo