From Fantasy to a New Frontier: Getting Past the Gate
When you’re at Disneyland, it’s usually pretty easy to tell when you’re moving from one land to another. With one exception, there’s some kind of clear indicator that you’ve left one land and entered another.
Most of those signs are welcoming, even inviting. But one is intimidating, even formidable. One is a giant wood and iron gate that can clearly be opened…and closed.
You could argue that the passage from Main Street U.S.A. to Frontierland fits this description, and I’ll probably come back to it later. For now, we’re talking about the gates as you pass from Fantasyland to Frontierland.
I’d never noticed until just recently how large this gate is. There’s no hoping over this fence (not that you should anyway). There’s no mistaking that here you leave one place and enter another. It’s big. It’s kind of intimidating. If it’s closed, even partially, it’s almost enough to make you change your mind and decide it’s better to just stay where you are.
I’ve found the same to be true in my life, and it’s probably true in yours, too, especially when making this particular transition.
We like to live in Fantasyland, where we have rules, beliefs, and patterns that are safe, comfortable…and often untrue. We tell ourselves…
- Things will never get better.
- I’ll be just like my Dad (or Mom).
- I’ll never be a good parent.
- This is all there is.
- I could never get a better job.
- It’s ridiculous to even consider finding work that I love.
- I have nothing to contribute to the world.
- My dreams are just that, dreams, and they’re foolish.
- My value comes from what I do, and the only way to be more valuable or significant is to do more, achieve more, have more.
- God could never love me.
These are lies. Every single one of them. But to leave them behind and move into truth you have to be willing to face the barriers that block you from new frontiers, from pressing forward into unexplored territory.
What is that barrier for you? What’s holding you back?
What’s the first word that came to mind when you read those questions? The odds are very good that’s it. For just a moment, before your filters and safeguards had a chance to engage, you were honest with yourself. That’s the only way to begin breaking through these gates.
“I call upon you, therefore, brethren, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a sacrifice—living, sanctified, acceptable to God—your intelligent service; and be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, for your proving what [is] the will of God—the good, and acceptable, and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 (YLT)
It’s not easy to “present your bodies as a sacrifice” or to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. But that’s exactly what we’re each called to do. That’s how we move out of those lies and fantasies and into the new frontiers God has prepared for us. The question is, how?
We already considered the first step. Identify what’s keeping you in Fantasyland. But don’t stop there. It does no good to break down the walls if you don’t cross through. So answer these two questions:
1) What am I not doing because of one or more of these fatal fantasies?
2) What have I done recently, or what am I willing to do, to address one of those lies I’ve believed, to move out of my comfort zone, even if just a little ways?
Don’t try to do 20 things, start with one, maybe two. If you’re not sure where or how to start, get help. Sometimes it takes having another person in our lives to encourage us, push us, challenge us, or give us tools–or even just a different perspective. But don’t make excuses. Resist the temptation to accept “good enough”.
The enemy of “best” is not “bad”. The enemy of “best” is “good enough”. Don’t let that enemy win!
Question: When you look over the gate into Frontierland in your life, what do you see? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.