[notice]A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.[/notice]
As we are going to the new year, no doubt many of us will be setting personal goals of what we want to achieve in 2017; the things we want to change about ourselves, where we want to go; our travel goals, ministries we want to start or where we can improve in the ministry projects that we run or that we are part of. You end 2016 looking back at the year that it was and seeing places and things that were not working out and really taking stock of where you need to change, what needs to change and what needs to happen for your goals to be fulfilled in 2017 and how you can be better.
One of those areas is the area of relationships –especially your marriage. There might be things about your marriage that you do not like; things about yourself; how you are in your marriage that you don’t like and you know that moving forward if you do not make the drastic changes that you need to make nothing is going to change. You will end 2017 still the same person that you are in your marriage facing the same struggles; having the same negative attitudes.
Skydiving and relationships
About two weeks ago I celebrated a milestone in my life as I turned 40. I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday in the most memorable way. I have always wanted to skydive and for me there was no better time to do it than on December 8 2016 when I turned 40 years old. What I learnt about skydiving and relationships in particular is that as people we need each other to live. We need others to speak into our lives and offer advice from years of training; of being older; to give us wisdom on how to behave.
Before skydiving, we went on a small aircraft — JJ my skydiving instructor, the pilot, the person who was going to take the video and me. For about 20 to 30 minutes we flew around in circles. In the craft we were laughing as they were telling me their adventures in the sky in different countries. I became comfortable as I listened to the jokes. I am sure they try and do this with all their clients. I would imagine the 20 to 30 minute flight is to get one relaxed to a point that they don’t really think a lot about the skydiving. I was in that comfortable state when I heard and saw the door open and JJ said “It’s time”. At this point JJ had already strapped himself to my back and we were ready for our leap.
As a couple there might be things that you want to accomplish together but those things are not going to happen unless you work together in accomplishing them. You need to have each other’s back as you leap into the unknown that is 2017. It’s just like the extreme leap of faith it takes to leap into the sky as one who has never sky-dived — you trust that your instructor knows what he is doing and that the parachute will open. Of course if you overthink all of these things you will never skydive.
Feel the fear and do it anyway
The biggest lesson I learnt from my skydiving experience was to feel the fear and go ahead and do it anyway. The moment that door opened I felt fear. The question was, was I going to give into the fear and stay in the aircraft where it was comfortable — or was I going to achieve what I set out to achieve which is to the leap and fly. I took the leap but I am sure that there are some who, when that moment of truth comes for them choose to stay in the craft and not fly. Their fear grips them to the point where it holds them back from getting out of that aircraft. If they do fly they have a horrible skydiving experience because they focus on the fear. Many who know of my recent skydiving adventure share their own fears of flying when they see me. They say that they would have never done it. One said “I would die”. This sounds exaggerated to me, maybe because I do not have a fear of flights and heights. I am sure they truly believe that they would die because a fear of heights are their greatest fear.
What are you scared of in your life? What is it that God is calling you to? What is the destiny that God is calling you to but you fear because you do not think that you have what it takes? God has surely promised us that He will be with us wherever we go. Isn’t the Holy Spirit with you; in you and for you? Do you think that He will desert you?
As a couple you can do it. If you feel the call of God to step into the unknown, go for it … then leap into the unknown. Take the leap of faith and trust that God knows your fears and knows your future. Trust Him to guide you through it all. As we were flying my instructor JJ was talking to me the whole time telling me to enjoy the views. There was one point we stood up in the air and just looked at the views around us and the view below. GOD HAS YOU! HE HAS YOU!!! Wherever He calls you to and whatever He tells you to do, it is because He will direct you and guide you. Do not trust your ability but His ability in you.
Kingdom assignments and leaving the familiar
You can do all things through Him who gives you strength. There are kingdom assignments just for the two of you as a couple that will need you to be brave and leave the familiar to step into your destiny. In Genesis 12 we see the story of Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was instructed by God to leave his kinsfolk to go to the land that God would show him. He could have easily chosen to remain comfortable; doing the familiar, but he chose to take the leap of faith and trust God. I doubt if Abraham would be counted as the father of the faith if he had never left. The Israelites left Egypt for the Promised Land. We all know the story of course that when they were facing challenges in the desert they wanted to go back to Egypt … to the familiar instead of putting their faith in God. It is so tempting to remain doing what we have always done and miss out on the great destiny that God has for ourselves and our families. There is great fulfilment though when we step out in faith to be and to do all that God has assigned for us. If we do not, when we look back at our lives I do believe that we will have moments of regret and wonder … ”What would have happened if we actually have done that; have gone there….”