People like me thrive on having our hand in a multitude of things all at once. We thrive on the thrill, at the price of the occasional overload. It would seem that people who tend to unabashedly take off in too many directions at once are likely to be people who tend to take off towards passions and desires. (I rarely jump on the opportunity to get my hands on some accounting.) I get overloaded because something entices me enough to make me move… and I’m invincible, so why wouldn’t I start something else?
Right now I have to juggle the terrible tasks of things like finishing the oversized dreamcatcher I started, finishing a number of paintings, learning new worship songs, fundraising to do a creative film project and tending to my overgrown collection of succulents and house plants. My life is so hard.
Let’s be fair to me though, taking off towards a goal doesn’t always mean you take off prepared and without risk. Let me offer you a metaphor; sometimes it means jumping and having faith that your parachute is going to open and suspend you till it sets you gently back on the earth… when there’s really a pretty significant chance that jumping out of a plane means picking up dangerous speed till you hit the ground beneath you.
I’m currently 25 days till my fundraising deadline on my film project. In some ways I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was at this time last year, in some ways I’m clearly a little bit dumber because I’m doing it again. This is not the first time I’ve jumped out of this plane. I didn’t plummet to my demise last time so I’M DOING IT AGAIN!
I literally promised a group of people that I would do something I had no idea how to do and what’s more, l I asked them to believe that I could do it. This is a group that has accepted the weighty responsibility of ensuring that a clinic, which saves thousands of lives each year, stays in operation through the funds they raise and they put their complete trust in me. It’s one thing to offer something after you’ve done it, it’s another to promise something before you’ve ever tried.
But, we did it… and we learned a lot. For one, God does’t need our money. If he wants operating funds for the hospital, he will get them and I believe that. So, even though I hate the idea of people donating money to fund the film when the goal of the film is to fund the hospital, I know that it’s not going to get in his way. I went into my fundraising knowing and believing that. Then about two days into it I was free falling and started to kick myself for using a fundraising platform that forces you to raise the full goal or you get nothing… not a penny. $12,200 is a lofty goal for a mission trip… it’s a ridiculously low budget for a documentary film project, but even knowing that I started to panic. I got really low because instead of just raising my funds, I backed myself into a corner. When the ground is quickly approaching you begin to really fear that the parachute you put your faith in is going to pull through.
I suffered for a few days, daily surrendering my fears and confessing my faithlessness and each day God provided me enough to get through the next day. I wanted to have full faith that I was going to hit the goal so that I didn’t walk away with nothing but I was struggling. Then one day I got this, “I AM IMMANUEL-GOD WITH YOU- an ever-present Help in trouble. No matter what may happen, I am sufficient to provide whatever you need. Instead of imagining how you might respond to terrible things that could happen, draw your mind back to the present and take refuge in My Presence…It is in closeness to Me that you realize how trustworthy I am.” (40 Days with Jesus, by Sarah Young)
And it’s then that I thought… “wow, duh.”
I got so stuck on the idea that I needed funds to film and I got greedy thinking that it wouldn’t be a serious financial struggle for me that I forgot that $12,200 is just a number that we estimated. Suddenly the surrender of fear I was trying to force became real. I’m so confident that if God wants me to raise $5,000- I’ll raise $5,000. If he wants me to raise the full deal, I’ll raise the full deal… and if he wants me to do it without a extra penny, it’s going to happen without an extra cent.
Just after that I sat down at the painting I was working on. I saw the look on the little girls face and I recognized it as the same fear and doubt that I had been feeling. It was probably this girls first time to have ever seen a doctor and even though his strange gloved hands and weird instrument felt threatening and unsafe to her we know that it is in those hands that she is being taken care of. Her precious little face shows that she’s not certain and she doubts that seeing this doctor was even a good idea. So as I continue to make progress on this painting, getting it to where I want it to be, her face full of fear and doubt reminds me why my fear and doubt are worth it.