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The Risk Of Being
With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special Guest: Julie
(J) Well, I think that if the motivation is, and oh gosh, how long my motivation has been ‘get it done’.
(J) Well, that’s just, it’s gross. I always have that motivation of ‘get the things done’, you know? And it’s like really? If that’s the entire motivation, then at the end of the day, really I may be tired, I may have gotten things done, but where do I lay my head down, you know? I’m not laying it with Him. I just ‘got things done’, and anyone can do that.
(Julie) Yeah, I think all of us know how to ‘get it done’, without really embracing Him in our life, or cherishing anything about Him in our life. And I think I lived that way before I met Him in you. I knew how to sort of do the work around the peripheries so it knew, it looked like I was getting things done. But I wasn’t really alive with Him at the core of it; I wasn’t cherishing the essential…the gift of work, and the gift of being with Him in the work of my life.
(J) I think the thing that its bringing in my mind is what Jen says about that it’s a dance. And that if you’re, you know, not involved in that dance and it’s, what is it? It’s a romance and a it’s a dance, even in the mundane, even in the, the practical life it’s a, it’s a dance. And ah, that’s beautiful, and that’s uplifting to my heart.
(M) On the next CD I’m going to be talking about Paul and his tremendous work ethic; how he refused to be supported by the church, he supported himself. He set such a high standard. That’s one thing that impacted me early on. The other thing was accountability; we will give an account for how we used our time and resources. That’s always, once I got that, it was the fear of the Lord. But it’s such, it’s such a mystery. Yesterday was a lovely, breezy, rather mild day with some cloud cover. And I worked. I have a big property to keep. I worked all day long, because it was so lovely. And by the end of the day I was so tired that I was hurting and staggering. I couldn’t even… I could barely walk straight I was so tired. And I just said, Lord, you have to show me if I stepped beyond Your provision. You have to show me if I just willfully wanted to get it done. And I left it with Him. I was really too tired to figure it out. But I had, oh I had done, I had built a whole new box garden and filled it. And I had done a lot of things with a heavy wheelbarrow and my arms were aching. And of course I said, it’s my age. I shouldn’t be working that hard at my age. That’s kind of the way I left it. So I got up this morning, the Lord began to say, “No, no, no, you’re looking at it the wrong way; you’re looking at it by your age, and by your fatigue. You need to look at it as I’m seeing it.” And He said something… It was as if He said, “You are ageless. You are healed. You are endued with the Spirit. Even if you worked to the point of staggering, you can’t assume anything about it; it’s a mystery.” He said, “I’m doing something in your life.” And He told me what it was. “I’m doing something, I’m stretching you so that you will not confine yourself to numbers of your years”, which is seventy-one. I did some backbreaking type labor yesterday, all by myself. And ah, but it’s like, it’s another place where we can think in terms of achievement as being limited to something; I’m limited to my finances, I’m limited to… Brother Lawrence was limited physically, he was crippled, he was limited to a day and age where there was no communication, and yet the communication of his word is spreading. It’s like He showed me my limitation; I assumed that I have to confine myself to my age, but I am ageless to the degree that He lets me be. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I saw the limitation I set. And the moment I could see His view of it, immediately I was not tired anymore; it was how I viewed it that made me tired, even today, the next day. It was how I thought of it, perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps I presumed on You. And He had to define it to me because I can do that. I’ve said to Him, “If you give me a minute of strength, I’ll run on it. You can’t trust me; you have to hold me.” Especially since I’ve gotten well. And He just… We just have limitations to ourselves. We set a limitation on our intellect, our education, our whatever. I’m trying to say He hit a limitation that I really did, I thought was appropriate; I’m supposed to stay within my ‘age’. And He said, “No, you are ageless.” And that’s, that on whatever ground, is true of us all; that whatever limit we set is the place we stop the stretching of God. And next week I will be much stronger because I did that that day. And ah, but my, my whole body changed when I understood what He said, and today, this moment I’m not near as tired as I was this morning when I woke up. I don’t know if that helps anybody, but it was like He exploded the idea of work. It’s not simply spiritual that we do work in the kitchen sink. It can literally save our lives and give us health as we stretch. And the book on genius that I mentioned on the “CD of the Month”, “The Genius In All Of Us”, secular book. But what he says is that the body and the brain is geared to come to change itself to accommodate what you demand of it.
(M) And I see I didn’t… Now He’s shown me that in that book to my amazement and wonder at how He created the human body to support what we decide to do, to support what we demand of it. That’s incredible that the body and brain cells are that adaptable to our direction. And so then He proved it to me in this experience of that day that I demanded of my body to go way beyond my concept of my strength, and my body did it. Now that’s physical labor, but it applies to all forms of labor, thinking, planning, doing whatever He inspires in your body for you to do. You can go beyond your limits with God.
(J) It’s real convicting. I mean I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s real convicting, because I see limits that I’ve placed on my thinking, my work or whatever. I say here’s the box, hmm, here’s the box, and, and, and that’s the confines, that’s as far as I can go. And God’s like, really? Well that’s as far as you can go, but I’m God, and I’m eternal, and I’m not boxed in by anything. You want to stay in that box go ahead. But… So it’s real convicting.
(Julie) Uhmm, this morning I was listening to an audio version of this book that you’re talking about by David Shenk. And he said something that made me think of you, because I thought what an apt description of how I watch you in your life. He said, “Great artists are tireless participants.”
(Julie) And I love that phrase. He said, “Great artists are not great thinkers, they’re great workers.” And he goes through all these illustrations of these people that we thought, well, they were just born that outstanding. And he, he disproves that, and he shows how hard they worked. And I thought, I love that phrase, “tireless participants”, because I thought, that is a wonderful way to describe you in your life. You are a tireless participant with God, (Julie laughs.) at so many things. And even my daughter, as my daughter has worked alongside you lately, you know she’ll pull me aside and she’ll go, “My goodness Mom, she runs us all into the dirt! She works harder than anyone we know.” And I’m like yes, and it’s because you have… I’ve told you before, you live by a vision that’s bigger than you! I mean it’s bigger than your life and so it’s always expanding. But I just love that, “A tireless participant.”
(M) Mmmm, mmmm. Ah, I’m trying to remember, think it’s something Kennedy said, about being in the ring versus the, being in the ring with the bull. But I’m thinking about this story at our river. Our river’s pretty swift, but the kids like to get in tubes and tube down the river, and get in the river and play. And there was one little boy; you know the story don’t you. He would not get in the river; he stood while the kids went in and had a fall, he stood on the bank. But when he went home he described the event as though he had participated, but he never got in. He was not a participant. And and he lost something by not being. There’s, there’s a certain risk you have to take. There’s a leap. I was corresponding with Helen Whaley, and I’ll ask her if she’ll let me say this, but she said, “Every day the Lord takes me to the precipice and asks me to leap.” And she was saying, you know, that she was small, and God was so challenging. But I wrote her back and I said, “But you leap! You’re a leaper!” (Martha laughs.)
(M) And there is a risk. And I think this man in his book mentions it, that it’s a risk to go beyond yourself, to… I suppose it would be the risk of failure, the risk of looking like a fool, whatever, whatever the risk is, that you perceive it, the greater risk is not to be a tireless participant. That’s the risk. But you know, Julie, I have to give the Lord credit for that. Because when He blasted into my life, by leveling me first, He found a woman who had so much lethargy. I was busy, but I knew I had great lethargy. I didn’t know that word then, but I began to pray for motivation. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew that I didn’t have it in me to be a tireless participant; it was not there and I knew it. There was a great void in me; I don’t know what it was, maybe it was just sheer laziness, but there was a, as I say, just a lethargy that I was well aware of in light of Him; I didn’t know it until He came. But in His light of Who He is, as I knew Him, I could see that lethargy. And I had a lot of fatigue, and I prayed a lot about that too. I had more fatigue at thirty-two than I have now. I had sort of a chronic fatigue; I don’t know why and don’t really care. But one day I prayed and prayed about those two things. And one day I remember sitting at a conference and realizing that I was no longer tired. I don’t know how it happened, I wasn’t aware of any boom or any transformation, but the fatigue was leaving me. And I know the difference between my energy and the energy of the Spirit. You do too. There are many heads nodding yes here. (Martha laughs.) The energy of the Spirit is not human. It’s way beyond human. And to let that energy take you over is ‘the leap’. To let that energy take you… After reading this book, I am just passionate about this group of people that I live with, that you all would throw out your barriers, like you did with me. I did not know that I had assumed a limitation because of my age, and I put that on myself, and I’ve explained things by that fact. It’s irrelevant to me. It’s irrelevant. Whatever He gives me to do, He gives me His power to do it. And it doesn’t mean there won’t be staggering fatigue. Or as Paul said, often in the water, discouraged but not cast down; all that list in 1Cor.4. But I want us to put no limit on what God can do in you, just you. I want to put no limit on what He can do in me, spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, in every way.