The concept is good. You have something that needs to be done. You do it. Do it right and on time. Then you hit the button and it says, "That was Easy!" But have you ever wondered why things aren't like that many times in your life? Heck I know I do. Why aren't things easier in my life?
"Well Steven, It's because when you have something that you need to do, (project, conversation, issue to be resolved, etc..) you put it off, ignore it, or set it to the side. Then it becomes increasingly more difficult, and rather than embracing that 'awkward' moment you feel compelled to be deceitful about it, shift the blame, and hope it will go away. " Thank you voice inside my head! I appreciate you helping me with that! "You're welcome!"
As a child, just like many of you, I faced some difficult things. The way I coped was to avoid reality. I learned to "avoid" the Awkward moments in my life by escaping reality, performing, being good, and trying to make things better for everyone else around me. That made me feel better. The result of that behavior was that I tended to everyone else's problems and avoided my own.
I would escape into a fantasy world and pretend for hours. That was alright when I was a child, but the problem is that I kept pretending as I got older. The consequences became much more severe. They impacted my wife, family, and life negatively as I continued to avoid 'awkward' moments through fantasy, rationalizing, as well and a deeper need for approval, confirmation, and praise. You see, God gave me a gift just like he has given you gifts. My gift to relate, communicate, and connect with people was and is a strength of mine, but what I have learned (and continue to learn through honest communication with my wife, trusted friends, and Godly GENUINE counsel) is that I used my gift to avoid 'awkward' moments. Instead of embracing the moments, I would manipulate, lie, and coerce a situation to get the desired results I thought would cause the 'least amount of damage.' I was using my God given gift for my good, instead of His glory! I didn't remember that in that "weak" moment I was actually strong.
"My Grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." (II Corinthians 12:9)
The 'E' in L.E.A.P. stand for "Embrace the Awkward." When we "Leave the Familiar" to see new growth and change in our lives, we can rest assured there is an enemy that doesn't want us to change. He wants us to retreat BACK and continue to cope as we have over the years. He doesn't want us step into the fray of life honestly and vulnerably. He wants us to GO BACK to the familiar. What he doesn't realize is that "We know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) We can "Embrace the Awkward" with confidence! There is a bigger plan at work.
That's what Peter did in John 21:8. He took a L.E.A.P. out of "the familiar" (a fishing boat) and swam as fast as he could to Jesus. When he arrived on the shore, it isn't recorded that Jesus said a word. He just stoked the fire as Peter stood there dripping wet and breathing heavy from his swim. AWKWARD! But Peter "Embraced the Awkward" moment! He didn't avoid it, and the result was forgiveness, a second chance, and a lesson that would change his life forever...ours too!
So I guess we need a new button. A button that says, "That was Awkward!" We can push it every time we embrace these moments that are incredibly difficult and know that we are heading in the right direction. It won't be "Easy," but it will be worth it. I'm right there with you today! As I finish this blog I'm headed to face my own "Awkward moments." As we "Embrace the Awkward" moments of life together it's good to know that we don't have to be alone...
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly" Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30)
(In case you are serious about making your own button...here's how to do it. I'm not technically inclined like that, but you might be. Blessings!)