“Dream big. . . Fail big!” That’s my motto. Actually, I don’t have a motto but if I were ever to consider a motto, that would be on my short list. My desktop dictionary defines motto as “a short sentence or phrase that encapsulates ideals guiding a family, individual, or institution.” In practice, mottos usually convey a preferred reality rather than actual reality.
If “the customer is always right,” there is no need to be reminded of this truth in the employee handbook. If “there are no stupid questions,” that self evident fact should go without comment. Regardless of whether or not you memorize the mottos, stupid questions and wrong customers still exist. Some of you who work in the service industry are thinking of at least one person who embodies both these qualities.
“No fear!” is a great motto. I really wish I did a better job of embodying those two words. In practice my phrase is a bit longer. “No fear! Except for at night, or when I fail, or when I’m confused, or when someone says something mean, or when people fail me, or when I just feel fearful for no apparent reason. No fear!” My idealized self wants to leave out the middle part between the “No fear” bookends. However, I’ve found I’m not very good at living for fictitious proclamations. The fact of my existence is I frequently vacillate between man of faith and scared little boy. I usually end with man of faith. . . or maybe it’s more like scared little boy of faith. Either way, I push ahead as best I can.
The last few years I’ve been trying out a different motto. It’s rather simple and I like the way it sounds. “I will not bow down!” This short sentence currently encapsulates the ideals guiding my life. It all started while I was reading a familiar Bible story about three servants of God who were sentenced to death because they were unwilling to bow down and worship other gods. Their response to their death sentence was enlightening and worth repeating.
“Our God. . . is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).
Their response is rather amazing in light of their circumstances. Basically, they said with confidence, “God will rescue us. . . but if He doesn’t. . . we will not bow down!”
It is this conviction that motivates my next step in life. “I will not bow down!” Instead of living my life in perpetual fear, I’m going to take my next step of faith. I simply will not serve the spirit of this age.
Better to fail in pursuing God than succeed in living for nothing.