This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “challenge.”
I don’t know about you, but a lot of the time I enjoy a challenge.
I have never been content to settle for an easy life. I have always liked to push myself, and there is something incredibly satisfying about succeeding against the odds. I think of my school band going to a national competition as the underdogs and leaving with the top prize, or the acceptance of a piece of writing by a publication who had rejected two previous pieces.
I’m not afraid to work hard if there’s a goal I’m determined to reach.
The thing is though, I like to choose the challenge.
Of course I could push myself to run a marathon, or to compete on The Great British Bake Off, or study for a PhD, and, who knows, maybe if I put my mind to it I could, but those are not things I have any inclination to do.
With God though, we don’t always get to choose the challenges.
Sometimes there are areas where I would like to settle for an easy life. I don’t want to speak out, or take on leadership, or deal with that issue I need to address, but I know God is calling.
The question is: will I rise to the challenge?
All I can say is that on the occasions when I have stepped out in faith, I’ve always been glad I did. (I shared an example earlier this week.) It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always grown character and trust.
The key thing I need to remember when facing a new challenge is to ask: is God calling me to do this? Is he the one setting the challenge, or is it just me trying to prove myself?
If the challenge is just for me, it might grow my perseverance and determination, but it might also be a big distraction from what God is calling me to do.
But if the challenge is from God, then no matter how uncomfortable or impossible it seems, the answer has to be yes.
One of the challenges I have enjoyed the most in the past is a writing challenge: Write 31 Days. The idea is to write every day throughout the month of October. In 2017 I wrote my 31 Days of Kintsugi series, which remains one my favourite things I have ever written.
This year, the challenge is slightly different. Write 31 Days is not taking place in its previous format this year, but the Five Minute Friday community is hosting a challenge: 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes.
It’s like Five Minute Friday every day for a full month with a one-word prompt supplied for each day to provide inspiration for writing.
I’m looking forward to taking part in this challenge and you’d be very welcome to join us.
You can find out more here.