How do You Know You’re Alive?

father rotate daughter vectorHave you ever laid in bed at night when there is no one to impress or no reason to hide your feelings?  Have you ever asked yourself, “Am just going through the motions or am I really living fully alive?”   

It’s an important question because it is directly tied to the fulfillment and joy we get from life.  This post might help you pinch yourself to see the true condition of you life.  It’s a pinch I need every day.  

The road from fear to confidence is called risk.

In researching this post I discovered that I talk about risk a lot.  There is a reason for that.  Risk is a key to life.  How long has it been since you have been willing to take the kind of risks that lead to life?  I hope this post will encourage you to do so.  How long since you have been willing to trust God enough to do something bigger than you?

When my daughter Traci was a little girl I found her standing on the landing of the courthouse steps, staring at the ground below. She was only about seven feet up, but that’s a long fall for a little girl. So I walked to a spot below where she stood to make sure she didn’t hurt herself. “Daddy, I want to jump!” she said. “Will you catch me?” (Traci is now the mother of four of my grandchildren.)

“Jump,” I said, “I’ll catch you.”
“No, I’m scared.”
“Don’t worry,” I encouraged, “I’ll catch you.”
“Will you really catch me?”
“Yes, I promise” I said

We counted to three. We counted to ten. We counted backwards from ten. We said, “Get ready! Get set! Go!” Each time, at the point of commitment, she would back away and ask for reassurance.

“You will catch me?”
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“My rear end feels funny.”

I explained that risk always makes one’s rear end feel funny.

Then, finally, Traci did what God wants us to do. She leaned so far forward that she couldn’t turn back. Notice, I didn’t say that she backed off, got a run at it, and leaped fearlessly into the air. This was no huge demonstration of her bravery; it was a tiny move of faith.

How much faith does it take for a little girl to jump into her daddy’s arms? Enough faith to lean forward. As she tumbled, a scream tore from her throat, but the second she hit my arms her expression changed from one of fear to one of delight, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Let’s do it again!”

She squirmed from my arms, and before I knew it she was back on the landing. With each jump she grew more confident. In the end she was throwing herself with abandon from the landing into my arms.

By risking, Traci had moved from fear to confidence, from doubt to faith, and along the way she had learned to trust her dad.

That’s what God wants to do for us. Faith is putting your life on the line for what you say you believe. God doesn’t always ask you to take breathtaking leaps from a courthouse landing, but He does ask you to lean forward.

People who stop taking risks stop living.

[reminder]Are you willing to risk? It will be worth it. Remember, that when your ultimate hope is in something bigger than death itself, then fear has to take a backseat to living. Pinch yourself! Are you still living?[/reminder]


  1. I just finished reading Fully Alive. I am going to work hard to try and follow what you have written. You are a great writer. I turnv66 in a month and I guess it’s never too late to start

  2. Your messages are always inspiring… and well timed. I have been on a “Try a risk” mission the past few weeks…everytime my inclination is to poke my turtlehead back into my shell I do the opposite… it’s been an interesting experiment but thanks to this thinking I am now getting ready to move into my first house I’m going to Israel in March and I’ve learned not to let a bully emotionally push me around…I will let you know how it works out moving forward…but for now…I feel more fully alive than I’ve been feeling…

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