“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
– Stephen King
What is it that you are waiting to do? Why are you waiting? Are you afraid? Are you afraid you will fail? Are you afraid you will do so well at it that all the world will come to expect that you will always do that well? Are you afraid that if you try, you will realize your life-long dream was not what you had always dreamed it would be?
It is really scary to start something new. Whether it is a new job, a new exercise regimen, a new relationship, or the great American novel you always said you would write, it is scary. We think about it long and hard – whatever it is – and we put it off. We say we are waiting for inspiration before we start, when really we are just procrastinating because we are unsure of where to begin. We sit back and allow the rest of the people on earth strive for success by using their God-given talents. We watch them go on first dates, show up for the interview, take the first step to finish a degree they started twenty years earlier, and put pen to paper to create. The scariness of the unknown outcome of the thing that we haven’t even started paralyzes us into a place of hum-drum settling.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this: What’s scarier – starting something new and uncertain, or settling for a life paralyzed in hum-drum-ness?
Over the last five years, I have spent many days stepping out in fear, praying for the strength to keep moving toward the call I felt in my heart from God. I wrote a devotional book and sent it out to publishers over and over again until someone said “Yes!” I applied to a seminary to begin my master’s degree and showed up for the first day…and many days since then to continue my education and the pull that God has on my heart to learn this material. I started this blog to make myself keep writing. And, just last May, I asked a professor to take me through a directed study that wasn’t offered as a class. That may not seem like a big deal, but it was to me. Talk about uncertain! I’m not sharing these things so that others can be impressed by my courage. I’m sharing them because they took over forty years to brew and percolate into realities. I’m sharing them because for those forty years, I cowered in fear of them, instead of acting on them. I’m sharing them because it has only been through the willingness to step out in fear that any of them are actually happening for me today. In my journey with God, I have come to believe what Clay Scroggins (Lead Pastor at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA) said in his weekly message this past Sunday: “God’s love obliterates fear.” Through God’s love, I have been empowered to step out of the paralyzing fear of forty-plus years and finally say, “YES” to life!
What’s stopping you from saying “YES” to the life God has planned for you? Are you afraid? Uncertain? Please just take the first step – whatever that first step is for you. Just do it. Pick up the phone and ask for the appointment. Look for job openings in the field you long to work. Ask that girl you have been interested in for two years if she would like to get a cup of coffee and start getting to know each other better. Say the long overdue sorry you need to say to that special person in your life. Start writing the story. Your story. It is a story worth writing – and I guarantee you will have a ton of fun writing it!
Thank You, God, for giving the world Stephen King – on this day in 1947. Happy 70th Birthday grand-master story-teller and fellow traveler. Thanks to your writing, real life isn’t as scary as it used to be.
WOW!!! That was intense! Thank you.