I'm in Michigan as I write this week. I've been enjoying Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Writing. It's a wonderful conference for anyone who loves words. I've met lots of writers here, but there are also many people who just love reading and come to hear some of their favorite authors speak.
This morning I decided to swim some laps in the hotel pool before breakfast. I made a grave error, though. I sat in the hot tub with Gary for about ten minutes before I went in the big pool.
He went back to the room and I stood on the top step in the shallow end. Boy, it felt chilly!
I stood there for a couple of minutes, then stepped down one more step. Yep, definitely cold.
Did I really want to exercise? Maybe I should just go back to the room. No, I did want to swim laps.
I stepped down again. Brrr!
I knew I was being silly. There really was only one way to get in the water. I had to do it fast or I wouldn't do it at all.
By standing on the step, all I was doing was wasting time.
If I honestly wanted to swim laps, I just had to get wet all at once. I would get over the shock and the cool water would feel good once I started swimming.
I took a few deep breaths and plunged into the water.
Finally, I was in and I could get started on what I had set out to do.
Even as I stood on the steps, my mind couldn't help but compare that situation to my writing.
I know I want to write more. I know I'll feel good once I do it, but I stand in the "shallows" and ease in an inch at a time. It's a little hard getting started. I wonder if it's worth the discomfort.
Of course, it is. Lots of things that are worth doing are uncomfortable at first. Maybe you have something that you've been putting off because you're afraid or uncertain. Jump in! You'll be so glad you did.
Oh, and please try to ignore the fact that I wrote something very similar to this about a year ago.
I've been standing on the step, easing into this writing thing for far too long. I really mean it this time, I'm going to jump in and do it.
Maybe I just need someone to push me in. Any volunteers?
"As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will send you out to fish for people.' At once they left their nets and followed him." (Mark 1:16-18 NIV)
Have you been hesitating to start something God has called you to? How can focusing on God help you to jump in and get it done?