My littlest boy loves to stand beside our basketball hoop and lift the ball above his head and throw it up. He’s nearly two, but in his head he’s convinced he’s at least six. He’s seen that ball go in the hoop before – he knows that is what he is supposed to be aiming at, and he sees no reason why he can’t shoot a hoop. He aims high.
There is a very precious email sitting in my inbox at the moment. It is the receipt of acknowledgement of the application for our two oldest boys to go to a particular school, in about 17 months time. This school has a waiting list, a state integrated Christian school. We’ve applied to the school because that was what we felt called to do. (I’m not about to turn this post into a discussion of the merits of christian/ public/ homeschooling options). This is the one piece of the puzzle for our future back in NZ that we are feeling confident about. We’ve been obedient. (please note we are not always!!) Included in our application was a letter to the Board of Trustees, asking for financial assistance, should the boys receive places in the school. That’s the audacious, aiming high, part of this whole gig.
Do you know how humbling it is to say to someone, to strangers, that ‘hey we’ve got no money, but we want THIS for our kids’? We think this is part of God’s plan for our future.
When it comes down to it, we don’t even mind if we get a big fat NO in reply to our application, and/ or in reply to our request for help. That’s not why the email in my inbox is significant. It is significant to us, because it is a recognition of our obedience. We’ve done what was required of us – and now the rest is up to other people and up to God.
The most heroic chick I can think of in the bible, who aimed high was Esther. Esther used her beauty – her natural giftings, she heard from God, she knew what was right in her heart to do and she stepped out. She risked it all to save her people. God allowed her to speak to the King, when he had not requested her presence. She was audacious in her faith and in her obedience. She was more concerned for others than her own security. She combined courage with practical planning. She prayed and fasted before stepping out. She prepared in the natural and the spiritual.
And so I see a few lessons from her life, for us to follow when we too choose to aim high.
God gives us gifting and abilities for a reason. Let’s use them for Him. If you can cook – cook to bless people. If you have natural beauty like Esther did, use it to attract people to the Lord, not for self. If you can write – write to encourage and bless. If you have practical hands – handy with tools etc – seek ways to use them for others. A mind that can problem solve, or market, or whatever comes naturally to you – you have these gifts for a reason.
When we step out in faith, for a lot of occasions a certain amount of homework, or preparation is needed. Esther spent time in prayer and fasting and urged her people to do the same. Research, research, research. Preparation, preparation, preparation.
And then, aim high. Risk things knowing that you are doing what you are called to do – not what someone else is – what you are. And know that the Lord will be there, urging you on.
Audacious faith. Aiming high. Go on. You can.
Esther aimed high, and was obedient with what she was called to do.
We’re aiming high with this whole school application process.
Asher may not be able to get the ball in the hoop, but that doesn’t stop him from aiming high. He’s got nothing to lose. Neither do we.