“What time are we hitting the water?”
“2 AM.” was the response.
This was the question I had to ask twice. I had to repeat myself because what I thought I heard the first time couldn’t have been correct.
“We will be at the ramp at 2 AM.”
I shook my head, laughed and swallowed hard. My mind was struggling to discern just exactly what I had gotten myself into. It was the night before the opening day of duck season in South Georgia. I had been invited to join a group of guys on their annual duck hunting trip to Lake Seminole. Even though I had never been duck hunting before I was excited about the opportunity to try something new, but now I was starting to question my sanity. I certainly felt out of place. I didn’t have the right gear, the right clothes, or the right expectations.
Several hours later I climbed into a boat with a mix of emotions in my gut. As we pulled away from the ramp the high powered LED flood light shot out across the blackness into the mist. As I peered into the darkness something caught my attention. Along the waterline were reddish orange dots. Pairs of them. Everywhere. They were watching us. Lots of them. Gators. What was I doing?
Have you ever been in a situation that you felt unprepared for? Have you ever faced a moment where the emotions in your guts contradicted the logic in your mind? Have you ever stood on the edge of opportunity but still felt unsure if the next step was the best step? This was me in that boat. I was fired up about being able to finally experience duck hunting. I was excited to see the action live in person. But I was out of my element. I was unsure of myself, my environment, or what would happen next.
Here’s the truth in life. Whatever your “next” is, it’s going to take some courage. No matter what you’re chasing, what you’re dreaming about, or where you want to end up, the hard truth is that it’s not just going to happen without effort.
Life is a tilted table. There are not flat spots. Everything in life that is worthwhile is uphill and is going to take some measure of effort. Everything you desire, wish for, dream about, and even pray for is going to take intentionality. There is no easy way to achieving the greatness you were made for. I’m not attempting to discourage your pursuit at all. I hope this image encourages you. It should! The sooner you realize that you have an active role in achieving what you are chasing the quicker you can take your next step.
What if you’re not sure you’re ready? What if you don’t know what to do? What if you take the step and it doesn’t end up where you wanted to go? All these are valid questions and should be carefully considered. I would wager, however, that there’s far more at stake than simply making a misstep along your journey. Here’s the thing about the tilted table of life. If we are not pushing forward and intentionally moving toward our dreams and hopes we aren’t standing still… we are in fact, sliding backward. Opportunities come and go. Chances fade. Seasons change. When we stall out on the edge of what’s next in our lives we often times can fool ourselves into thinking that we are going to remain there, but the reality is, the moment we stop pursuing our purpose, dreams or goals we are taking steps backward.
Can I give you some hope today? No matter what you’re chasing, or where you are in your journey there is a constant. You have a God who loves you. He deposited greatness inside of you. He’s gifted you with talents and passions that fire you up. His desire is for you to leverage these deposits in your life so that you can impact the people around you. When you step into the “next” in your life God will use it to help other people.
If I hadn’t have pushed forward that morning, among the gators and the unknown, I would have never experienced the wonder and majesty of duck hunting. I would have never unlocked that passion within me. I likely wouldn’t have built many of the deep and impactful relationships I have now. I may never have had the opportunity or courage to be writing this right now.
What opportunity or dream are you standing on the edge of today? What fears are keeping you from stepping out and going after it? Remember, what you really want in life is uphill from where you are now. It will take intentionality, but God has already deposited the courage you need inside of you. You are a man who matters. Go win the day!