There are people in our lives that inspire and motivate us and then there are people who are just plain cannonballs of surprise, delight and grit and admonishment. These are the people who leave you absolutely speechless and yet wanting more. They are the people that you quote and you seek to live your life like. They are world-changers, hero-makers, and just a drop of what they have, you’ve got to get. You might not agree with all their politics or every choice they’ve made, but there’s something about them that inspires us.
You know the people, people like; Bob Goff, Brene Brown, Oprah, Maya Angelo, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Michelle Obama, Henrietta Mears, and Dallas Willard to mention a few (hey, and don’t get pinched-up about the order I listed these… just a list, not a list-list).
There’s one person that stands out to me that I am more and more inspired by and stretched by. She was a trailblazer, full of grit, faithfulness, boldness and just plain moxy. She didn’t let anyone detour her from what she knew to be right. She pushed forward regardless of what other people thought and remained faithful to what she believed. Her name….
So for most of us, when we hear the name, Mary Magdalene we instantly think, “prostitute”. Ugh. She was labeled early and often, but the truth about this first century woman, is that she was an INFLUENCER with all caps! Jesus said of her in Matthew 26 and Mark 14, that wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, her deed’s would be remembered! Let that sink in for a minute… Jesus didn’t say that about any one of the disciples, the religious leaders of his time or anyone else. He said this about a woman who had a “label” and the most ugly of labels.
When Jesus called her and saved her, he gave her a new name, new purpose and a new future! And she ran forward with all the energy, excitement and enthusiasm she could muster. Here are the lessons that I’m learning from Mary M~
1. Our past does not have to dictate our present or our future.
The truth is we all have a “past”, some are more colorful than others. Doesn’t matter – what does matter is what we do now and how we jump into the future. We each have a choice to move past the past, step out of the mire of mud and step into something new. Do the personal work it takes to move forward. Here’s the truth, you were created for greatness! So, there have been some bumps (or even deep valleys) along the way. Learn from them, gain wisdom from them and be the best version of yourself you were created to be.
2. Write yourself a permission slip.
I love this! Brene Brown talks about writing ourselves a permission slip in her book, ‘Braving The Wilderness”. When Mary M. met Jesus, he gave her a new purpose and she took it! Her life was radically changed and she allowed herself the permission to believe what Jesus said about her. People still called her by her old label, but she just kept on walking forward! She walked into a room crowded with religious leaders (the very people who called her by her label), anointed her Savior with oil, without giving even a second thought to the people around her, she followed and supported Jesus tenaciously, she believed every word he said and made sure she was at the tomb bright and early on the third day. She wrote herself a permission slip to do exactly what Jesus spoke into her life!
4. Be bold, be real, be brave and be a CANNONBALL!
Because she believed, she was bold, real and she was a powerful cannonball that changed the world around her with every move she made. She is called the apostle to the apostles! Jesus came to her first after his resurrection, sent her to tell the disciples where to meet him. She didn’t doubt (even though she was scared), she didn’t hesitate (even though there were a billion reasons to stop and turn the other way), she didn’t water-down the truth or timidly trace the path set before her, she came in like a red-hot cannonball ablaze with fierceness and purpose!
What is it that God has set before you to do? What are the past labels that you or others have put on you that are.not.true? Maybe they represent past decisions or situations that you’ve been a part of or placed in, but they are not true of you today. Do you need to write yourself a permission slip to have fun today, write a book or a blog, start a ministry or step into a ministry role? What is it that you need to be bold and brave about?
This is a female conversation, this is a human conversation. Every single one of us has the ability to do big, hairy, audacious things. I’m praying for every single one of you to take a big ‘ole jump into a beautiful, full-on, legs pulled up, arms wrapped tight around your legs, face full of laughter, lungs inflated with oxygen CANNONBALL, that will splash joy, purpose, significance and new life onto everyone standing close enough to feel the water from your splash! Mary did, we can too!
I’d love to hear about your CANNONBALL, leave a comment below or on social media and tag me in!