For decades now, I’ve loved adventure, to push my limits. I even created a line, “If you never push your limits, you’ll never realize your true courage and abilities.” But that flows from my innate timidity—yeah, it comes close to my name. So I decided to face and conquer my fear. At 26, I embarked on a 3 month, 13,000 mile, 31 state motorcycle tour of the US. I rappelled down a 190 ft. Rio Grande bridge tower, on a 120 ft. rope. Just last summer, I did an Iron Butt ride, 1,080 miles in 16 hours on 2 wheels. At 70. Yeah, some of us never learn.
This April, a good friend and I toured the redwoods at Cowell State Park near Santa Cruz, and saw this. Redwoods can live over 3,000 years in part due to their thick, fire resistant bark. This one didn’t make it, a lightning bolt blasted the life from the tree. So I added a tag line, “But if you push your limits too hard and die, you’ll never realize them either.”
Accept no risks, and we lead boring and unfruitful lives. Accept too many, and our lives end. So we struggle for a balance between safety and adventure, between comfort and pushing, to best cherish God’s gift of life.
Limits come in a variety of forms. Our fears, like I faced. Complacency, being content with mediocrity. Others’ expectations, from people who may not know our soul. Sins and temptations that we allow to hang around too long. You can add some more if you like.
Here’s an example of courageously blasting through limits, from the woman closest to my heart. Sheila grew up in a small southwest Kansas farm town of 550 people, where the wind seemed to never stop and she never felt warm from October until July. She heard of the California weather from a cousin, and to get there, she left behind her family, friends, and all she knew to join the Navy. Later, as a single mom she raised her daughter with no government help, just some from church friends. She faced her fears and made her life. Gutsy. Willing to push her limits. Finding something better with each limit blasted away.
May we yearn for God’s best, and go out and grab it.
Kick Starting the Application
What limits right now keep you from being the best person God designed? Why have you accepted them? What course do you suspect God would have you take? Pray about that, and think of one limit you’re willing to begin blasting through. What steps can you take this week to begin the process?