On the Edge of Scared or Bored?

Posted by on Mar 1, 2012 in Blog, Gary | 21 comments

“Radical dreams make us radically dependent. When we are engaged in what God has called us to do, every part of our spiritual life comes alive. There’s a reason to grow, we have a compelling reason to pray, to stay in close contact with our Leader and Guide when we walk unfamiliar, threatening paths. There’s a strong drive for fellowship, allies, and friends, close at hand because what God calls us to do we can’t do alone. There’s an undeniable need for worship, a clear vision of who God is and His commitment to meet our every need as we walk with Him into the future. Dreams make us aware of resources. We discover resources we may not have known we had.” Discover Your Destiny, Bill and Cathy Peel

This quote is from one of my favorite books on calling. It is so true. When we find our “true north”, the “stirring of God”, our “why”, our “truest desire and created intention”, (all the things I’ve written about in past eLetters) our spiritual life comes alive. We become very needy in an exciting way.

I have heard some say that only going to God when you need Him is self-centered and immature. But, the core issue is not the frequency of going to God, rather frequency of needing God. Too many of us live God-less lives – lives that do not require God in any way; that make Him optional.

There are two types of lives: a mundane life and a transcendent life. These two types of lives have nothing to do with the family we were brought into, nor the education we received, nor the situation we find our self in. It has to do with the story we believe is going on around us.

When we refer to life as being mundane we see it as being ordinary and meaningless. The word mundane means worldly, common, unimaginative. And in a way, all of life can seem like that. After all, what have we done or are we doing that has not been done before?

Transcendent means “going beyond ordinary limits; beyond the ordinary range of perception” In other words, there is more going on than our senses pick up and our actions are more consequential, more meaningful, weightier than we understand at the moment.

Having the perception that our life is mundane will kill us; it will dull our heart. We will be counted among those that Jesus described, “You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; For the heart of this people has become dull.” (Matt. 13:14, 15)

We will not lose heart if:

We do not look for things that can be seen but for things that cannot be seen. For things that can be seen are temporary, but things that cannot be seen are eternal.”   2 Cor. 4:18 (ISV)

There is nothing like perceiving the transcendent realities of your life and understanding that the glory of your life goes beyond ordinary limits. Every action in your life has an effect on things unseen.

We have been set-apart, not set-aside.  We must understand and believe this.  It will change the we way we live.

It is better to be on the edge of scared where growth, prayer, intimacy, fellowship, worship and vision are absolutely needed, than boredom where neither God or our heart are needed.

Grateful for you, my allies and friends,


21 Responses to “On the Edge of Scared or Bored?”

  1. Jim McFarland says:


    What strikes me most is: “going beyond ordinary limits” and “beyond the ordinary range of perception”.

    Transcendence is both for me but also it is experiencing what Larry Crabb meant by:

    “I have learned that an awareness of inadequacy is neither a curse to lift nor a disorder to cure. It is a gift to be received, a gift that if properly used can make me powerful and strong and clear and wise”.

    Also regarding the unseen and beyond perception I think of another quote that rang true for me.

    “It is the frustration of our desire for God that deepens it. Only by not revealing God to us, at least for a while-sometimes a long while-can the Spirit put us in touch with a desire that eventually displaces every other desire.”

    It’s so much easier to transcend with friends who have been there.

    Thank you for your words that inspire.

  2. Eric Herrington says:

    Thats a good word right there. Thank you Garry.

  3. John Nizio says:

    Great post Gary, very encouraging and refreshing words. Yes we have been set apart, not set aside…..as if maybe somewhere way down the road there is some great event for us to do. Life is in the here and now, and it’s found where we are…and that’s in Him. Our deeds as free men and women in Christ will echo into eternity. There is something exciting to wake up to each day!

    • John, yes. Like at the end of the movie Moneyball, sometimes we hit a home run that we are totally unaware of. We think we hit a single and then fell in the dirt, until some tells us that our effect was far greater than we imagined.

  4. Drew Hampshire says:

    Wow! Powerful post Gary-so very encouraging and motivating. It really crystalizes the difference in a life lived at either of those spots, and how lifeless the mundane really is. The settled life is so very draining. Hoping I can access the transcendant life!

    • I’m with you in this “hope”. I think our life and actions are more transcendent than we think – as we walk with God. It’s both mystery and adventure.

    • Drew Hampshire says:

      Trusting the transcendent to be as “real” as the life I see and feel is a real challenge, but that has to be my mindset. Living in the transcendent amongst my current circumstances is my goal.

  5. Gary,

    This is really good. I love your line, “the core issue is not the frequency of going to God, rather frequency of needing God.”

    God made us humans needy creatures: we need our mothers’ care, we need food and water, we need love and nurture. Moment by moment, we need the air we breathe. We are needy creatures.

    We are conscious of most of our needs, and we fill most of them naturally. Yet we forget our deepest need (for transcendent intimacy with God) and we use busyness as a narcotic. And that busyness is boredom.


  6. Randy Luce says:

    Gary, goes back to the analogy of Crabb that we have admired before, of the three types of risks…common, crucial and critical…and that God wants us to live in the critical, because that’s where if He doesn’t come through for us it ain’t happening…that place of needing Him to come through for us which keeps us coming to Him on our knees. Very well spoken Gary! Thanks

  7. David Elliott says:


    Super encouraging. Thanks so much. Just what I needed to hear. I’m so scared to move into my calling, out of what I’ve known for 10 years. But, the thrill of walking with God through it makes it sound so appealing. Having had “tastes” of this over the last few years, makes me what to jump in. Thanks for sharing.

  8. It’s all too easy to become complacent even when Jesus is calling us out of the boat to Himself. But if I won’t take the opportunity to respond to His invitation, I’ve discovered that He will often capsized the boat…to get me into the water. It may be the rough water storms of personal pain or whatever, but a Loving Hand will not allow me to stay put for too long, especially when it’s already been too long. God knows I love Him and want to go deeper and sometimes He lovingly pursues through pain and desperation, to get what He is after…and already knows i actually really want , but am too scared or bound up, unknowing how to get there.

  9. Interesting timing here. I’m at the biggest trade show in this industry we are trying to “infiltrate” and the questiion of the day is where, when or if we ought to start trading a little of our “scared” for a modicum of “safe” and truly I’m not sure I know the answer.
    I’m reminded of that old story of the guy in the flood who turns away rescue after rescue always waiting for “the Lord to provide” and missing the fact that that is exactly what He was doing.

  10. Phil Younk says:

    Gary, I loved this writing. I fully believe God calls us to be radical. When we are radical we are forced to rely on Him from day to day and continually seek Him. If we look at the apostles, Paul, many of the early Christians and many Christians today who gave/give up everything (comforts of home, comforts of job they are good at, earning a good income etc.) and left everything behind to follow Jesus. That to me is radical. The wealth of our nation has caused us to be so comfortable we tend to stay in our comfortable mundane lives. I so long to be radicle and to get out of my mundane job. I strugle with what God wants me to do. I really want to get in some form of full time ministry but have no idea how to or what God is really calling me to do or even if He is calling me into full time ministry. Do I wait on God to open a door as He has done with so many “small” things in my life? So many doors He has opened for me have been easy to step through. Will he open the door for that radical thing in my life? Do I need to be more active in seeking and step out of my comfort zone or just wait for God? I have people tell me God has a “heavy calling” on my life. I continually ask God what that means but he seems to be silent. Do I need to quit my mundane job and be more active in seeking a different calling? I have other people tell me that God’s calling for my life could be just to continue to do the work that I am doing, and continue to look for ways to minister to others and be a witness to others at work and outside of work. I truly believe we are to minister to others and witness to others no matter where we are at and I continue to do my best at this and seek the Lord’s will on for each day on a daily basis. I make a good living, we live a comfortable life. My wife can stay home and home school our children, we can afford nice vacations, we have a cabin in northern WI. Why do I not have peace with where I am at? Why am I incredibly bored? Is this my flesh keeping me down so I am a not so good witness to others, is it Satan’s attacks, is it my sinfulness? Do I just need to be more radical with where I am at right now? Is my view of what it means to be radical only for some and not for others? Sorry for the long comment, but this writing really hit home. Please don’t feel that you need to answer any of my questions I am not expecting that at all. Thank you and God Bless!!

    • Phil, first of all, those are profound questions. I comment your courage to write this out and make this public…because we all have similar questions our our life. Here are where my thoughts go:

      Your calling is to let the world around you experience the glory (weightiness, brilliance, splendor) or effect of your life. It is not a place, position or job description. Your job is simply to be your current assignment – where God wants you to take your glory.

      Do you have a sense of what the God-given/created effect of your life is? That needs to be one of your primary pursuits.

      The second question/pursuit needs to be the life/condition of your heart. Your heart is the real you, you soul. If you are bored, feeling unsettled with your life for more that a season, then perhaps God is motioning you toward a transition. Perhaps God is telling you there is more.

      Phil, have you read It’s Your Call or listened to The Glory of Your Life or attended a Calling event? If not, I’m sure it will help.


  11. jonathan says:

    “I have heard some say that only going to God when you need Him is self-centered and immature. But, the core issue is not the frequency of going to God, rather frequency of needing God. Too many of us live God-less lives – lives that do not require God in any way; that make Him optional.”

    Sometimes, I literally wish to take my schedule into my own hands. Yet the more I have needed God – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and just for day-to-day functioning – the more I am exhausted when trying to live in my older habit of relying on my own ingenuity and planning.

    The winding road of fearful uncertainty feels exactly transcendental when I can rest in Him yet produce something glorious at the same time.


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