Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
“No, the wilderness isn’t romantic, but it’s beautiful and terrifying and intimate”-David Pocta quoting Sarah Bessey
What gets you scared? Snakes? Roaches? Lizards? Maybe it’s not an animal. There are other things that terrify us like airplane rides or amusement park stunts. As we go through life we are often confronted by things or even persons that make us really uncomfortable.
I’ve been enjoying an excellent book entitled Cries from the Wilderness by spirituality scholar David Pocta and am learning to appreciate the value of “wilderness” periods, that is, seasons of doubt, uncertainty and reevaluation. As cited above, Pocta quotes another author Sarah Bessey who notes that seasons of trial or change can be scary and exhilarating at the same time. The wilderness pushes us, it takes us out of our comfort zone and it teaches us how to be authentic.
When you start questioning things that you once held dear, it can be disconcerting, especially when you belong to a community of faith. But as my dear wife Michelle reminds me: “If you don’t go, you won’t know and you can’t grow.” There’s a lot of wisdom in that. Growth is not likely to occur unless we are willing to step into the unknown, where we are compelled to trust in Divine providence and grace. You must go. Step out. Otherwise, you will never know what is possible. You don’t have to be foolish. Just be faithful.
My heart was warmed last weekend when my son’s school qualified for the final round of the primary school’s steel pan competition in Trinidad. They had never reached the finals before. They placed 7th out of 12. The children were incredible. Their team leaders, Densil and Latisha, believed in the students’ ability and called them higher into unchartered waters. It was beautiful, terrifying and intimate.
There’s nothing like a good challenge to make us deeply aware of what we are made of.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.