I would rather have someone tell me no than maybe!! On the “Back 9” of life I have come to realize “Maybe”, or “I’ll try”, or “Let me get back to you”, is a 99% “no”. I would rather someone come out and just say no. Man up!!! Rather than saying maybe………really wanting and meaning no, but just not having the guts to say it. I do understand that people, including myself, have to check their calendar or with their spouse. But many use it as a way to kind of forget about it and let it slide. Knowing they will forget and hoping you will. I have been working on this so much and making every effort to get back with someone when I am asked something without my calendar in front of me or when I am on the cell phone. I have learned to say, “You may need to call me back and ask because I am driving or not where I can write it down so I might not remember.” The point I really want to make is indecision is a “NO” DECISION. It is a decision.
Committing and sticking to something is very important. A person who takes action is usually someone who carries a passion for being “All IN”. They enjoy the fruits of their labor. Seeing something being accomplished even if the end result is not what they had envisioned. They are invigorated by their internal motivation to say “YES” and then follow thru to the finish line. The most awesome commitment, if you are a Christian, is for you to commit to do something God has put in front of you or prompted you to do. For the non-Christian, it would be to “jump in” and commit your life to Christ.
Several years ago I was talking with Wise counsel on how I could live out loud before our kids in the “Back 9″ of life. How to start and follow through with a God-sized commitment. Something that was bigger than me so that I could lead by example. Something I didn’t necessarily feel equipped nor qualified to do. Not only would I see God, but they would as well. Following the Scripture found in 1 Corinthians 1:27,”But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” It goes on to say in verse 29, “so that no one may boast before Him.” I desired to do something for God that would be something HE would have to do through me that I could never do in my own strength.
When you have adult children, it is more about what you do, than what you say. I felt that I had accomplished much in my life under God’s call, but most of it they knew about but had not actually experienced or watched in action. They were great stories but just not a “living part” of their lives, history to them for sure. Of course, they have experienced me keeping my word and following through on the things I have promised to do or my responsibilities as mother, wife and daughter. But I wanted them to see me seek God and His will for me, then me commit to the call which was a “challenge for sure (a stretch) and complete it. Something that was what God had for me. I asked Him to please give me something that would use my S.H.A.P.E.–spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences. Amazingly He honored that request.
My most current experience on verbalizing a commitment to the kids was a flop. A year and a half ago, I announced that I was going to train and run in a marathon but it was a FAIL before it ever began. It wasn’t necessarily a call from God but something I thought would be good for me and would set a good example for the kids. This is where you are going to question if I have a brain. I am not sure why in the world I even let those words come out of my mouth. I knew that I had been told that medically my knees could no longer stand the pounding from running and running had been taken off my plate 6 years ago. Why I thought or verbalized such a commitment I will never know. Needless to say that was a FAIL!!! So…I have been praying ever since for God to show me, especially since emptying our nest, what He had for me. Just know this, when you sincerely ask God to show you, HE WILL!!!
Not long after praying daily for God to show me, He reminded me of the prompting he had given me at 16 to write a book. Back then I laughed wondering what would I write about. As I prayed God said, “Now is the time. You have a lot to write about.” I have known for a while that God had placed in my spirit a desire to write, at least one book for sure…… but this was a HUGE TASK that I wasn’t sure I wanted to verbalize to anyone. I didn’t want another FAIL.
I prayed fervently for God to take it off my mind and heart but HE intensified it instead. HE spoke to me in several circumstances. He first put me in several unexpected conversations about writing which was actually positive and encouraging. He even prompted a high school friend whom I never get to see, and we live miles away, to randomly write an inbox to me on Facebook asking me if I had ever thought about writing a book. The kicker was running across an old journal that I had written over 10 years ago promising God to write a book. That pretty much made me wave the white flag and sealed the deal. God made Himself crystal clear.
At the point of saying Yes to God, I still wasn’t ready to STEP UP AND TELL OUR KIDS. It took me a few months of gingerly sharing it with my inner circle of friends and receiving their huge support of encouragement and prayer that helped me go “ALL IN!” It was a process. I announced it to our children at Christmas several years ago. I didn’t seriously start writing until June of that year. I took January to May to read and pray and allow God to impress upon me what He would have me write. He is so faithful. Just in a few months of writing, I was called by the person helping me organize what I was writing and give me wise counsel and he said, “Wow, I just went through all of your material and, since June, you have written 80,000 words. You have not one book but two.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. I will just have to say, IT WAS ALL GOD, ALL, ALL, ALL GOD. I write almost every day and just submit it. I decided in the beginning that God would write it for me. I certainly did not feel qualified, so I have paid little attention to word counting and just wrote as God led.
With all this being said, God’s first book written through me has been published. Just under a year of making the commitment to God and verbally stating it to our kids. It has been a commitment for sure. As in anything I have experienced that God calls anyone to do, even if it is hard and requires much, the reward you personally reap is always bigger. Just knowing you said yes and knowing that you know it was ALL GOD. We all deep down know what we think we can do, but when you factor God into any equation and follow His will into the call, then what you have is a “HOLY” anticipation. Knowing God can invade and do anything through you that HE tells you to do. Our part is saying YES, and being OBEDIENT.
To package this story and get to the point:
First, I truly want to encourage you, the reader, to Seek God and ask Him what He has that He wants you to do. God doesn’t hesitate! He will answer, He will equip, and He will provide.
Second, seek wise counsel. Seeking wise counsel to advise me has been so beneficial. Counsel encouraged me to write as the Holy Spirit led, but to “drop my hands” with expectations of anything other than just being an empty vessel. Willing and available and most of all COMMITTED!!! Letting my YES be YES! to God and not doubting or backing up! It has shown me “Who you are is absolutely irrelevant. God doesn’t use us because of us. He uses us in spite of us!”
Third, His timing is perfect. When I started to write, I didn’t really put myself on the clock other than being committed to make daily inputs into my commitment. Taking it seriously and not haphazardly.
Last, I encourage you to be like the boy in Matthew 14:13-21 with the 5 loaves and 2 fishes. He gave them to Jesus. Whatever you have give it to Him. Asking Him to take it and multiply it. In God’s economy when the boy was willing to give, 5 + 2 didn’t equal 7. It equaled 5,000 plus. With 12 baskets of fish and loaves left over. If the boy had held on to his lunch, it would have never been multiplied. The charge and the question is this……What may God be wanting you to do? Have you asked HIM? And you can trust that in His economy His multiplier is WAY MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE…. You just have to give.