Tag Archives: god

It’s A Bird. It’s A Plane

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly? Not in a plane, or on an amusement park ride but fly like superman. I think that would be one of the most amazing experiences ever! The freedom, the exhilaration of soaring above the trees, the view from the air! But I have to confess I am terrified of heights. It isn’t so much being up high
that scares me it’s the idea of falling. So if I ever wanted to fly I would have to let go of that fear of falling. I can promise you I will probably never know the experience of skydiving because I don’t know that I would ever be able to get past the door of the plane, let alone the free fall at the beginning. Isn’t that what holds so many of us back, fear? A fear of falling, a fear of failing? What if you didn’t have to be afraid? What if you could let go? I will never be able to fly if my feet stayed planted on terra firma. If I want to know what it is to fly, I will have to let go, I will have to jump.

I am only truly beginning to understand what the cost of being a true disciple of Christ is. This is where you begin to move from one in a crowd of nameless faces to someone who stands out, stands up, and says “Hey wait, there has to be more than this!” It is where you begin to move from what can God do for me to what can I do for God.

I love how Joni Ericson Tada relays this idea…
“God extends His hand and offers you life abundant and joy unspeakable, for here and eternity. But do you ever wonder how much it could cost? The answer is short, simple, and painful. “It will cost you everything,” God replies.

To understand life abundant, joy unspeakable, you have to be ready and willing to lay everything, everything, down and walk away. You have to be ready to stand on the edge of a cliff and jump, with no Plan B. This is where it is so easy to get tripped up. I am a sucker for Plan B. Plan B represents safety but another way of saying that is that Plan B is your failure plan. It is where you say, okay God Plan A is yours, but just in case you let me fall, I have my back-up parachute packed. How easy does it then become to pull the emergency cord as soon as we jump. We never get to experience the freedom of flying because we react to the fear of falling. I love how Woody puts it in Toy Story when he is talking to Buzz Lightyear (for those who are familiar) “that’s not flying, that’s falling, with style.” I, for one, am tired of living this way. Tired of hedging my bets, tired of looking over my shoulder, tired of living afraid to fall even if it is with style.

Joni goes on to say, “Most of us trifle with the cost of Christianity. We slap our sins on the table and, for the price of Somebody Else’s blood, happily walk away with an asbestos-lined soul and a title deed to heaven. With “eternity” taken care of, we get back to living life as usual, offering the obligatory gestures to God on Sundays and holidays.”

Will that work? It’s definitely not Plan A. Jesus said, “Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:38-39)

We are creatures of habit, creatures of comfort, and that too easily becomes the driver of our daily lives. I have begun to understand that I need to get over the idea that Christ died for me so that I could live comfortably, allowing Him into my life on Sunday during church or when I find myself in need. We need to understand that we cannot live however we want day to day, knowing that we have our insurance policy of salvation covering us when we die. We will never know life abundant and joy unspeakable if this is the route we choose.

God has a great plan for all of us and I am pretty sure it doesn’t involve the view from inside the plane, the comfort of the couch, or the safety of the sidelines.

Do you want to fly? I do! So, no more being afraid of failing, for greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. If God is for us who can be against us?

If you want to fly, first you have to jump! I think its time.

My name is Ashley Cunningham and I am a control freak.

20130709-172317.jpgNow that we have that out of the way, here is the deal today. I wanted to post something and had nothing. I also was past due for my scheduled run and have been wanting to hit the roads but it’s HOT so I started up my hamster wheel (aka treadmill) and instead of being struck with inspiration I hurt. Every step of the first two miles.

Before I even made it through the first mile, through gritted teeth, I said “Ok God. I have nothing here. Please pour your Spirit out and fill me. ” I had nothing to give physically and no divine inspiration. I was ready to quit and then my mom’s favorite song came on and I closed my eyes (you can do that when you are running on a treadmill) and just took a deep breath and let the song wash over me. It was like a fist that had been wrapped around me was releasing and when the song was over I played it again.

As the miles continued to pass my brain was lighting up with ideas like fireworks on the 4th of July and I was trying to type and run and be sure I didn’t forget any of them. I had been trying to force this, trying to do it on my own and I should know by know that every time I try to do it that way I will fail. This is what happens when I try to take the reigns. But as soon as I stopped and asked God He was right there. When we ask for more of Him, He will never disappoint us.

Today I just want to encourage you, take a deep breath, then close your eyes and let the grace of God wash over you from the song that saved my run (and my writing) today. I hope that it blesses you as much as it did me.