I remember my soccer coach in high school telling us that sometimes the best way forward is to go backward first. What? How could this be? I thought, “If the goal of the game is to get the ball into the other team’s net and that net is on the other end of the field, and, by the way we don’t want them to get a goal on us, why would we risk taking the ball back toward our goal? Shouldn’t we constantly be pushing forward?” It seemed counterintuitive…. I soon learned he was right. By going backward, we were able to regroup and reset for a new opportunity. Major life lesson learned. Now, before moving forward on a new leg of my adventure with God, I start by looking backwards.
Look backwards before venturing forward.
I remember the time before I made the huge Jump from my stable career to become a financial advisor. I felt a lot of anxiety as you might expect as I pondered such a life changing decision. I had been in my career in the medical device industry for over 20 years. I had poured a lot into getting to this point and honestly, though it had been reasonably rewarding all along, I was approaching those years when I would expect to gain the most responsibility and make the most money. I had a good reputation, lots of experience, high level position….everything was solid, steady, “in my hand”. While all seemed so good, I felt imprisoned, believing that there was something more significant to come. Was I nuts to consider such a move? Many people would say (and I know even more felt) I was a fool. I felt that God was leading me into this so I had mustered up a dose of courage. But I learned that it just takes one person (close to home) to say “you’re being a fool” (typically unintentionally) to feel a dart piecing right into your heart.
A man’s courage is no match for an inadvertent dart from a loving friend.
Ouch! I found out how readily I can accept these words of doubt. It’s as if I had covered them with a napkin and shoved them into the far corner of my head. Instantly the napkin was blown away; exposing the doubts, bringing them to the forefront of my thinking. What now? I became paralyzed, having worked and planned so much to get to this point, now, doubting in the midst of making my Jump. A disaster I thought. Perhaps a bit like Moses and the Israelites facing the Red Sea with the Egyptian army quickly gaining. The Israelites turned against Moses complaining “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness?…..Our Egyptian slavery was far better than dying out here in the wilderness!” Exodus 14:11-12 (NLT) The little voices in my head were yelling at me just like the Israelites were yelling at Moses. “What have you done? You’re a fool to be giving up this job. This will hurt you and your family for the rest of your life. You’d be better off in the slavery of your old job than to die in the wilderness of some foolish dream!” You might imagine the heaviness I felt. I wonder how Moses felt, standing there being bombarded by all of these voices, blow after blow….
What did Moses do? He responded to the people telling them not to be afraid. But then he turned and cried out to the Lord for help. What the Lord said back is striking. “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Use your shepherd’s staff….” Exodus 14:15-16 (NLT)
I can imagine the look Moses’ face as he slapped himself on the side of his head saying “of course, I should have remembered!!” That shepherd’s staff had been the conduit from God to perform miracle after miracle. Why wouldn’t God be there for me again!
Why is it so easy to forget what God has already done for us? Perhaps you’ve noticed how much of the Old Testament is spent lamenting about how the Israelites have forgotten what God has done for them in the past. It seems it is a characteristic of our humanness; our propensity toward self-sufficiency and our desire to cling to what we humanly know.
It seems we only have eyes that look in one dimension; so easily leaving God out of our future.
How do we fight this then? Just like the coach said: Look backward before going forward. What I have done is take a little time to write out my testimony. How has God been involved with my life up to this point? I can tell you, this activity is truly powerful. Try it! And remember to keep it going….your story is not over.
Write your testimony. Read it. Add to it. Read it again. Go back to it regularly. This is an enduring love story. God is in your past, present and future.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)
God promises to be involved with your story always. Just think. He has been creating this story from a time way before you were born; way before your parents or grandparents were born…..from the beginning. As you pursue your adventure with God, he is with you. This is the adventure he wants you to take. He planned it for you long, long ago. Why would he lead you along the path and then leave you in the dust? You will be tested for sure, but you can be confident he will be with you in the days in front of you just as he has been all of this time until now. He is faithful.
God has paid too big a price for you to leave you in the dust.
Writing my testimony refreshed me and raised up my courage. Not human courage, but a new courage fueled by my faith in the God of the Universe; the same God who parted the Red Sea. For me, I stayed focused on what God asked me to do, my Life Mission. I proceeded with my Jump to become a financial advisor “to help free people financially so they could do what they were meant to do”. Wow….what a ride it turned out to be!! What would my life be if I cowered and stayed locked in at my old job of slavery? Where would my faith be? I shudder to think of it….
Your adventure builds faith, pursue it.
Let me guide you to find your adventure. Check out my book, Unlock Your Life, 5 Steps and a Jump to Living the Adventure You For