What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see the ubiquitous Nike swoosh?
You probably didn’t have to think very long about that: Just do it.
I wonder if the marketing geniuses who came up with the swoosh and its slogan had any idea they were creating a global call to action and not just an annual marketing campaign for a tennis shoe company?
Several years ago I embarked on my own call to action: a year of saying “yes.” I had begun to notice that when faced with a risk or something brand new (which as you all know OF COURSE translates to “scary”) or something really horrible like too much spontaneity, my go-to answer was often no. So I decided to start saying yes to opportunities and invitations. Just do it. I made the mistake of sharing my new mantra with the congregation one Sunday morning which is how I found myself in an innertube on ice cold waters just downstream of Slaughterhouse Falls on the upper Roaring Fork River after church one frigid fall day. But I digress.
You see, I sometimes get stuck when thinking about a new idea or starting a new venture. What happens to me, and maybe to you too, is that my head gets in the way of my heart. From mountain biking to book-writing I convince myself that everyone is better than me so why bother. And if they aren’t better than me then they already have an edge somehow – they have years of experience or a PhD or a research team or a robust list of contacts or maybe they just have time on their hands to dedicate to being the best at…whatever! It’s a cycle for me: getting stuck, getting unstuck, getting stuck, getting unstuck.
So lately I find myself wanting to be fiercely confident. (Again.) I am reminded that I don’t have to knock it out the park at the first swing, but I do have to step up to the plate and, well, bat! On top of my planner/notebook I have written in big bold letters SO WHAT IF IT FAILS. Not a question. A statement. Because the truth is, all of our grand ideas might fail. And so what.
At the end of the day, after every flop and failure, every mistake and every setback – yours and mine – guess what remains? We do.
We’re still standing and the Lord, who goes ahead of us, will be with us and not fail or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). They are, after all, earthly things we chase after: experiences, achievements, material goods, accolades. Strip every little bit of that away, move yourself into a tent somewhere in the woods with nothing and no one, and you will be left with one magnificent and holy thing: you.
God has given you a spirit filled not with fear but with love, peace, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness and faithfulness. And living by that Spirit, you will be guided by the Spirit (Galatians 5:23-25). So be bold. Just do it. So what if it fails. For goodness sake – for everyone’s sake – be YOU. And I promise I will, too.