Toddler, Observer or Withholder
Last week I took my kids to a water park, I'm still trying to recover. My daughter, Gabby was scared to go down the tiny water slide until she saw a TODDLER go down it and lived, so she sheepishly walked up the stairs, looked at the slide for what felt like 3 days, sat down, covered her eyes and went down the slide. After she realized she too lived through this terrifying ordeal, she saw this was fun and went down that tiny slide 800,483 more times. I convinced her that there were other slides that she could try that would be MORE fun than that 8 ft water slide. As we were assaulted by kids shooting us with water guns from higher levels we walked towards another slide and I sat her down. I couldn't go down with her because the tube slide was clearly designed for children or hobbits (maybe both), so I said, "you are brave" and I gave her a shove down the slide. Needless to say she was not fond of this slide, but she did it and if the water pressure hadn't have been equivalent to that of a pressure washer being sprayed at her face, she would have gone down again. Then Brayden appeared like a ninja after exploring the other slides and I said, "Brayden, why don't you go with Gabby, she's scared and she would go down them if you went with her," not to my surprise he responded, "but I have already gone down all of them" and he went and sat down in a corner, folded his arms and waited until we go down the lazy river again.
Some of you are wired to be the ground breakers and the "toddlers" that go first. You see a challenge and you think, "I'm gonna do that" and you find a way to get it done or you have a dream and you work your butt off to accomplish it. What can be a little discouraging when fall into this category, is that people will laugh at you because they could never imagine themselves doing what you have embarked on. They will criticize the process or the decisions that you make and they will hope you fail. HOWEVER, you will also be the person to inspire them to actually DO that "thing" they have always wanted to do because they saw you step out and actually do that "thing" instead of just talking about doing that thing. It's ok to be a ground breaker, an outside of the box thinker, a problem solver and a dream chaser. Put on your goggles and arm floaties and just go for it because you are starting a ripple effect that will impact those around you and will give them the courage they need to act on their dreams.
Some of you are the ones who need to see someone else go first because the thought of doing it scares the crap out of you. That's ok too. As long as you don't stay on the sidelines as an observer, watching in fear your whole life regretting that you never stepped out and just gave it a tray. Look at those around you who have done what you would like to do or have dreamed of doing and let them inspire you to act. Be humble and ask questions, study what they did and there is nothing wrong with using something someone else has done that has been done and done well. Will you fail? Yes. Many times. That toddler at the water park went down the slide a couple more times while I stood there and she clocked her head on the side of the slide and another time fell off the slide because she tried to get creative. She wasn't afraid to go again and to try again. You will learn a new lesson every single time you try and that information you learn is priceless to your journey AND you will be able to help others not make the same mistakes you made through your process. If you are afraid of what people will say if you fail, you have to look yourself in the mirror what do YOU think of you? Forget about what they say, at least you tried and if you aren't successful the first time you WILL be successful if you try again.
Then there are some of you who have done almost everything you have ever wanted to do but you won't help those people who are scared and need someone to come alongside of them to encourage and fan the flame in them. Perhaps you withhold information because you are scared people will be "better" than you, maybe you snicker as someone steps out and tries to do something you have already done, maybe you don't make yourself available to those who have questions about how to get started. If you fall into this category can I encourage you to please stop. You have been placed in a position to lead others and you can either lead from a place of insecurity or a place of confidence. If God has blessed you with creativity and wisdom in certain areas please share that with those around you. God isn't going to allow you to fail when you help to lift others, in fact He will position you to be more influential and He will trust you with more ground to take. I have self published 2 books, it makes me so happy and I feel so fulfilled when I am able to walk someone through the process and to encourage them to write that book that's in their heart. I could charge people for the information I know but I actually find joy in sharing it for free because there is nothing more fulfilling then to watch someone else's dreams come true and getting to cheer them on through the process. Your words of encouragement might be all they need to hear for them to spread their wings and fly.
At the end of the day, all that matters is that God says you are good enough. He is the one who is going to supply you with everything that you need to accomplish what He put in your heart to carry out. He is the one who will open every door, He is the one who will put together the right connections at the right time. He is the one who is cheering you on with all of heaven.
If you want to write a book, do it
If you want to start a business, do it
If you want to learn to dance, do it
If you want to sing in a choir, do it
If you want to act, do it
If you want to start a Bible study, do it
If you want to design a clothing line, do it
If you want to tame wild horses, do it (but this one seems dangerous so maybe learn how to do it first...)
Life is too short to be afraid of what other people think, if you will fail or if you will make a mistake. You only get one chance at life, I want you to be able to look back on your life and be so full of experience and so full of joy because you did everything you dreamed of doing. You can research the snot out of something but at some point all of the research becomes an excuse for you not to take a leap of faith. I encourage you to do your research, pray over it, plan, seek wise council then...jump.
1. What dreams do you have in your heart that you have been afraid to act on? Why?
2. What category do you fall into? The "toddler" the "observer" or the "withholder"?
3. Do you have a person in your life that speaks words of encouragement and fans the flame in you? If not, how much more do you think you would accomplish if you did?
4. Do you think encouragement from God or people is more important to you? Why?