The saddest word in any language
Two things today. I think perhaps the saddest word in any language is “almost.” It occurred to me as I was reading the story of Paul’s trial before the king, and it got me to thinking about the tragedy of “almost” and some of the forms it can take.
I thought about fear, how fear can stop us from doing and trying and saying and going.. How sad. (Shame, by the way, will do this, too.)
Fear keeps us quiet when we should speak. We feel a prompting to use our voices, but we will not risk it. “Almost.” And someone who needed to hear it’s left without.
Fear keeps us from stepping out when Faith beckons. A door opens, but we can’t see the whole road, so we freeze. “Almost.” And the vista that would have unfolded remains unseen.
Fear of failure keeps us from trying. We think we can, we know we should, but failure’s messy. “Almost.” And the blessing we could’ve been to others is never born.
Shame shouts, “You fool! Who do you think you are?” and we don’t (take that class/give that hug/send the resume/offer our voices).” Almost. Oh, so close, but not quite.
The saddest sentence I’ve ever heard was in the story I read today. “Almost,” said the king, “you persuade me to be a Christian.”
Someday, it will be too late to change our choice. But we are still alive, you and I, and it’s not too late today. We can, right now…
1. Let God adopt us.
2. Let God love us (this is big, and something many have missed).
3. Learn of His perfect and wonderful fatherhood from God Himself regardless of how He was modeled.
4. Step forward, wrapped in this glorious and lavish love of God, into the lives of those He sends us. (How my life’s been enriched by this practice!)
5. Walk through the doors that God opens.
6. Dream the dreams that God gives us.
7. Refuse to let shame keep us quiet.
When you do these things, something amazing happens. One day you look down, and you’re walking on the water. With a quick backward glance, you see the ghost of Almost on the shore.
To the Water Walkers and the Fire Eaters and Those Persuaded, my affection,