Thursday, August 03, 2006

Taking the rollercoaster ride

I have been thinking about my brother, Richard, recently. He is the youngest of my two brothers, though I suppose that somewhere in his forties now is hardly “young”. Joe and I have stayed with him when we have been down to visit the folks in Rugby, and his comment after spending an hour or two in Richard’s company, for the first time, was “He will either be a millionaire or totally bankrupt by the time he is forty.” I think he is swinging close to being bankrupt, but the millionaire part is waiting in the wings.

Richard has amazing self confidence. He left school when he was sixteen without any qualifications. He is very much a “hands on” kind of person. He will look at something like an extension to someone’s house, someone’s kitchen, or bathroom and go home and build it! He has no formal qualifications in architecture and yet his advice is sought out by big firms and he is asked to design shopping malls. He just talks confidence all the time. He may know absolutely nothing about something, read up on it for a couple of hours, and talk through it like he is an expert!

He invents things by adapting what someone else has made to suit his purposes. He applies for a patent on his invention and then the big companies who provided the shoulders to climb on take his to court and say that he has copied them – which to some extent he has.

He is a risk taker, and I think that is what I admire about him.

I don’t want to be self confident in quite the same way as Richard. I want to be God confident. Too often I play it really safe in the sense that I am very cautious. I am hesitant to plough all of my energy and time into something until I am 120% sure that it will succeed.

A couple of years ago I wrote regular letters to a friend of mine – I typed them, so there are copies of them on the hard disk. There is something like a dozen spanning an entire year – regular monthly updates of life in the Kerr household. They trace the beginnings of my involvement with and virtually every letter involves a debate about publishing a collection of poetry.

If I was my brother Richard, with all his confidence and risk taking – the book or books would be sitting on the bookshelf by now. He would have seen it in his mind’s eye, not even questioned whether they were “good enough”, and started contacting publishers!

Last night we were praying about the resurrection power of Jesus. Many of us have dead dreams that God wants to resurrect. As we were talking things through and praying, the reasoning bit of my mind kept up the mantra – “This is not about me – I am fulfilling all I have set out to do – there are no dead dreams for me to pursue.”

In a sense that is true. The dream of publishing a book of poetry is not dead. If this was a sci fi thing I would say it is suspended animation, or in stasis. Suspended animation is as good as dead in that there is not interaction with the world around.

It must be very hard being married to my brother – a real rollercoaster of a ride. He achieves things that other people just dream about doing. I want to be like that. I don’t want my confidence to be in me and in what I can do if I put my mind to it – but in God!

The mediocre has never been God’s plan for my life.

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