Failure of Nerve vs. Failure of Heart

There is a wonderful leadership book called Failure of Nerve, which is all about having the courage to leave the status quo and lead change when necessary. It’s a really great book about adaptive change.  Right now, in our world, however, I don’t think our problem is a failure of nerve. We are all embracing adaptive change, we have no choice. We are adapting. We’ve learned to pivot. One pastor I know said, “I think I can learn adaptive change, I just don’t know if I can survive it!” I think that gets at the heart of this moment. I think our problem is not a failure of nerve, it’s a failure of heart. Many of us are wondering if we have what it takes to survive, we are wondering if it is worth it, or if we should abandon the job, the town, the house, the plan, or the school and make a big change. It is tempting to make a big move in part because it gives me a temporary feeling of control in a time when so many things feel out of my control.

I know some of you will be called to make a big change right now (and I support those Spirit-led courageous journeys into the unknown!) But I also want us to consider that sometimes re-arranging the furniture on the outside deck of my life keeps me from some house cleaning on the inside. Many of us are not all that developed in life endurance skills because we have had the luxury of so many distractions. When things get hard or uncomfortable, we just move or change rather than endure. If you tackle a big change in life right now, it will take a lot of your attention to do that, and it may give you a temporary feeling of control, but it also may distract you from an inner journey invitation. So for those of you who are weary and losing heart, and looking to distract yourself by grabbing the reins of something you can control by making a big change in life…hear the words of this ancient sacred text and consider Christ.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. – Hebrews 12:1-3

Remember dear friends, the one who endures, resides in you. May you not grow weary or lose heart. 

Here are a couple of inner life questions to ask yourself right now:

  1. What key spiritual practices and rhythms are going to sustain me in this season?
  2. What key relationships are necessary to build resilience as things won’t be getting easier anytime soon?

I know that so many things feel outside of your control, and they are. Please know that you, my dear friends, are being held up in prayer before our ever-present loving God. May you rest in knowing you are fully known, fully loved, with no fear of rejection. Right now. Right here. Just as you are.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s