“We are the women who want what God wants—more than we are afraid of it.”
Once upon a time, a girl sat at the bottom of a mountain in a shopping cart. She couldn’t get out, and there was no one else around for miles. Knowing she just had to reach the peak or she’d burst, she closed her eyes, hummed a hymn, and smiled because this wasn’t her idea; it came from the same God who had created her (and the mountain and the shopping cart). Her hair rushed back as the cart picked up speed, pushed along by the One in whom her hope rested. What a unique sensation, holding on for dear life as she watched the scenic road unfold before her! Bizarre, for sure, but thrilling. If you’ve ever felt completely out of control and entirely safe at the same time, that’s about the size of her exhilarating ride from bottom to top. The cart handled long stretches and wild curves, whizzing along happily as though it were made for nothing but this particular adventure.
I woke up, fuzzy memories of the steep incline drifting away with each ray of sunlight, remembering how I loved riding in shopping carts as a kid, colored cans and boxes blurring around me. But one sad and unmarked day, I guess I got too old for being a passenger. So I swallowed the idea that to get through the grocery store (or life adventure), I’d have to do the pushing.
Fast-forward to the past few weeks. God has been messy-birthing a massive dream in my heart—one that could have profound consequences—and I’ve been charting and reading and listing and pondering and conversing. There’s such a lot of work involved, and when I think about it for too long, I feel a little sick.
So my dream of the mountain last night came at a beautiful moment, replacing the need to be very grown up with the joy of the ride.
To be sure, there are helpful and unhelpful ways to travel. You can stretch your hands out wide, grasping for control, and get cuts and bruises from passing objects. You can shut your eyes and miss the beauty of what’s happening. You can refuse to even get in and live out your days at the bottom of the mountain you were born to climb. You can allow fear to dominate your mind and bail halfway through. You can grab a branch and use it as an oar, changing the pace and direction as much as possible.
Or you can prepare as well as you’re able, sit down snug, and watch with the hope that only comes through faith in a good Mountain Maker as the cart begins to move.
Matt Perman says that “God requires of us more than we can do. But He doesn’t require of us more than we can do without His strength and power.” Of course we might want to throw up a little when we glimpse the height of whatever mountain we were made for. It would be prideful and foolish not to. But the calling is not our idea, and any plan born in the heart of God cannot fail.* So let’s suck up the upchuck, buttercup. We will be held accountable not for doing everything that has ever needed to be done, and not for everything we could possibly eek out any strength to do, but for every ounce (and not one more) of what the Lord wants to accomplish through us.
Be creative and intentional and excellent and wise and faith-full. And then be prepared to brim with wonder as God multiplies those offerings in the advancement of His kingdom. Succeeding is not ultimately your responsibility—that’s God’s work, and He can steer the cart as He will. We just get in and enjoy the journey.
Where is God inviting you to be pushed up the mountain?
*This doesn’t mean that we will never experience defeat—for instance, the Lord’s plan could be cultivating our holiness through humility, which might require some significant let-downs. But God always gets what He wants in the end, and if He thinks we need to be humble of spirit more than successful in a particular dream, I promise we’ll praise Him for it when we get to glory.