She came bouncing into the room nearly bursting with enthusiasm. I, on the other hand, was calming down between appointments answering text messages. Kristy was eager to share her excitement with another person and it appeared I was that person. We were both attending the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference and she had just completed teaching a journalism class at the conference. Her face beamed with joy as she shared the passion she felt for teaching and writing.
While listening, my thoughts were questioning what allergy or illness is affecting me? Where is my passion? My enthusiasm? Why am I not beaming with joy? She asked, “what brought you to the writers conference and what do you like to write?” My spontaneous response, “good question, I am not sure?” It was kind of a joke but real at the same time.
What was I doing at the conference? I thought to myself, “you are not a very good writer, so stop trying to be! The people at this conference are all real writers.” Now, teaching fitness classes, encouraging my students with God’s Word, while giving verbal instructions on proper alignment throughout the class, that’s easy for me to do. It is the way I’m hotwired. Sitting on my stability ball is pure joy, and I can do it for hours. But throw in penning my thoughts and ideas to paper is another thing altogether.
The bottom line is, I want to do things with excellence, and I sometimes feel inadequate when writing.
Trying to regain my composure, I shared with Kristy my most recent book and some positive opportunities on the horizon. She was engaged so I continued to share. As we continued talking, I confessed how God had presented opportunities to write and for one reason or another did not come to fruition. She listened as I explained how my fear of failure, and rejection, had stopped me from doing what God had allowed me to do. One example was the opportunity to write a blog for a well-known Christian Radio host several years ago. I ignored her continuous requests, why, “Because I didn’t know what a blog was.” Talk about dumb.
Funny, as I confessed, my thoughts brought me to the way the fitness industry has changed over the years, and how adjustments came so naturally to me. Take for instance the first Triathlon in this area, I didn’t have a clue about putting the race together, so I surrounded myself with athletes who did, and it worked out wonderfully.
As Kristy and I scoured over the load of junk on my back, the last bad writing decision manifest itself. Guidepost called on the deadline day and asked, “Hey, do you want to add a Bible Study with the book? We would need it put together by 4 PM today.” The only thought on my mind was, “How in the world could I possibly write a Bible Study in one day!” To this day just thinking about the missed opportunity makes my stomach turn!” If I had said yes, they may have given me more time. I never let that become an option.
After finishing my stories of missed opportunities, she looked straight at me and said, “Stop stopping!” Those two words came across as, “Get busy, stop complaining, stop making excuses, stop doubting,” even though she didn’t say any of those things. She did say, “If you don’t do what God has called you to do, there will come a day when you will see your own ideas on the cover of another author’s book. Is that what you really want?”
She is right, and her predictions have come true on multiple occasions. The real question each of us must ask ourselves is this, “Are we going to be obedient to God when He provides an opportunity, even when we do not feel qualified, confident, or capable?” He does not ask us to do something without providing just what we need to complete the task. God equips those he calls, He just wants us to be obedient.
Jeremiah 30:2 really struck close to home, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.”
Proverbs 6:4 addresses our slow obedience, “Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.”
The conference, especially Kristy, put things in proper perspective. The publishers and agents are asking for book proposals. It is my choice to write, and with the Lord’s help the proposals will be in the mail soon.
Now, I have two words for you, “stop stopping!”