Most of the time for me, it comes down to this. I am not willing to be scrutinized, squinted at, gossiped about. I settle for smaller-than-I-am so I can just be understood.
But am I really even being understood if the "me" I portray is smaller than the real version? In that case, what I am really settling for is not even being understood. I am simply deciding that not being rejected, scorned, kicked out, ostracized is better than courage. Better than making a difference. Better than pushing back.
I shrink down tiny so they don't take my name off their guest list.
Really? Is my birthright so cheap? Is my destiny so dilutable and trivial that I can sell it for acceptance by people who don't want to make a difference in the world anyway? Who don't even know who they are enough to judge my reputation with any accuracy?
I want to be big, make a splash, be brave and change things. But that awkward moment inevitably comes where I can take a stand or I can sit quiet, where I can leap on faith or stifle miracles with my doubt. Where I can pray for healing right then and there, or I can sympathetically inform them I will pray later. Not wanting to make a scene, of course. Not wanting God to disappoint us. Not wanting to be a fool.
But as Rhett Butler told Scarlett O'Hara: "Reputation is something people with courage can do without."
My prayer is only: Dear God, give me a hearty, sturdy soul so I can live with rejection, without reputation, in pursuit of your glory and your adventure every day.
(I will be writing more on this. The topic of fearless innovation has snagged my soul more than most things right now.)
Photo cred: ouzouzouz.deviantart.com