While trying to divert my attention from the monotony of exercise, I began watching TED talks. Although I discovered many interesting lectures, one which pierced my thinking was entitled, “Cutting through Fear” by Dan Meyer. To overcome his many fears, he designed an ever-growing list of “thromes” (defined as a combination of goals and dreams). One of the final items on this list of remarkable feats was sword swallowing. After years of practice, he not only achieved proficiency but also became the world’s leading expert.
Dan Meyer stated that although he found his purpose though sword swallowing, sword swallowing was not his ultimate purpose. However, sharing with others what he learned about conquering fear became his life’s thrust.
During the lecture, he explains the process of swallowing a sword and demonstrated for the audience. The final step he explained is to nudge his heart aside for the sword to completely enter. He concludes, “The impossible is not impossible.”
I, too, am a sword swallower. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. When I read the Bible, it is not to gain information, but to be transformed. As the expert sword swallower knows – the final step is to nudge the heart aside. Anywhere my heart is not aligned with my Lord Jesus, I must nudge my heart aside and let his sword penetrate.
My form of sword swallowing may not seem spectacular, but like Dan Mayer I understand that sword-swallowing is not my purpose in itself. My calling is to share what I have learned through sword swallowing to help others learn the art of sword-swallowing. This enables them to conquer fears, stand firm in the victory Christ gained, and to walk by the Spirit who empowers us to do remarkable feats and brave things.
My list of thromes is quite short – really only 1 – When I bow before God’s throne in heaven, I will have faithfully fulfilled all I have been called to do.