The Courage to Leave it On the Field

leave it on the field - Live with courageAll of my life I’ve held somewhat of a public role. It’s a small stage, I’ll admit, but being a pastor’s kid, knowing that eyes are on you, was a reality growing up – and even to this day. My successes and failures have been on display, for many to watch (and judge), quietly or not so quietly.

I’ll be the first to tell you there is MUCH in my growing up years that I look back on and shake my head about – mostly just the stupidity of youth, some of it downright selfishness and rebellion. I’m not silent about what I believe, I never have been, and I seldom back away from challenging others when I feel they are off and their beliefs are hurting themselves or others. Sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong – I try to communicate with as much kindness and compassion as I would want given to me. I welcome opposing points of view and my respect for those courageous enough to share it with me only GROWS.

Recently I’ve had my motives questioned, unfriended, and have been told that close friends think I am completely BS-ing them just to make money. I’m not going to lie and say this hasn’t hurt, deeply. But when things like this happen (and I wish I could say this is the first time) I always have a decision to make. Do I defend myself (this is ABSOLUTELY what I want to do more than anything) do I shrink back and shut up so that nothing I ever say will be taken the wrong way again? Do I censor myself and move toward the safe middle ground, saying what I know other’s want me to say but essentially lying because it’s not really how I feel?

Everytime I mull these questions around in my head I come to the same conclusion: “I may come to the end of my life and find out I have been wrong about many things. I will most certainly hurt, bother and offend many people along the way. But If there’s one thing that I want to be able to say at the end of my life it’s that I left it all on the field. I didn’t shrink back from trying to help someone, I didn’t take the easy road, I didn’t let my life go by, simply content with mediocrity, I didn’t EVER stop trying to become the best, most vibrant, most generous, most authentic and godly person I could be. I never stopped fighting and I NEVER gave up. I had the courage to leave it all on the field.”

This post isn’t necessarily aimed at any one person – those who have questioned, unfriended and misunderstood me know who they are and they know that I hold no ill will against them. They aren’t the first and they won’t be the last. This post is simply a peek into my life – which is a mess – and I hope a spark for you to not worry about the mistakes you make along the way – as long as you are in the game making mistakes you won’t regret this life. As long as you push forward, stay humble and realize that you ARE a work in progress who WILL screw up and don’t let that fact take you out of the game. There are worse things than living all out and having a few missteps along the way – there are things far worse – throwing in the towel, giving up and being satisfied with just surviving is far worse my friends.

Stay foolish. Stay hungry.
When (not if) you fall down, brush yourself off and leave it ALL on the field.

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