In the past decade I faced many unexpected challenges as one phase of my life ended and I had to start over, almost reinventing myself.
When I talk about my adventures and accomplishments people sometimes say, “Oh, I could never do that!” or, “I’d love to do that, but I don’t have the time (or the nerve, talent, or whatever).”
There was a time when I thought I never could do some of these things, either. In fact, if asked to try them I would most likely have refused outright. I had set the margins on my life too wide leaving only a narrow space to write any new experiences.
So what changed?
God cleared all my presets and forced me onto a blank page.
I had no choice but to close my eyes and jump. Surviving that first leap gave me confidence to tackle the next.
Once a person accomplishes a new thing the realm of the possible expands making the next impossible thing appear less daunting.
Too many of us let our fears narrow our lives unnecessarily.
If the circumstances of my life had not forced me to step out on faith I would still be limiting myself by those things I could just never do; things I had never done before or things I had convinced myself that only other people could do.
At one time or another I used the excuses of being too young, too old, too inexperienced, too short, too fat, too poorly dressed, too fearful, too shy, too tired or too busy. I can no longer claim to be too young, but most of the other cop-outs could still be in my repertoire, if I let them.
Now, I don’t subscribe to the idea that I can do anything if I just try hard enough or want it enough. That’s ridiculous. People do have limitations. I can’t fly like a bird or control the weather or play pro football, no matter how much desire and effort I put into it. But, I don’t need to further shrink my horizons. There is a world of realistic possibilities out there for each of us if we push back the margins and take a chance.
You never know what you can do until you try. That was wise advice when I was growing up and it still applies.
Accepting the challenges forced upon me has stretched me and pushed out my own limits beyond anything I ever thought possible … at a time of life when I might have expected my boundaries to begin to constrict.
God prepared me for the new opportunities, nudging me to become more trusting in him and enabling me to say, “Sure, I’ll give it a try,” when the old me would have said, “Oh, I could never do that.”
I thank him everyday for bringing me to this place in my life.
We all have absolute limitations, of course. We can’t walk on water or lift elephants. Some people have real restrictions due to accident of birth, injury or illness. But too many of us place artificial limitations upon ourselves, saying, “Oh, I could never do that… It’s not my nature…I’ve never done it…I’d be afraid…I’d feel silly…I’m too tired…that’s just not my thing…”
Stop concentrating on what you could never do and open yourself to God’s leading. He will give you opportunities you would never have imagined. You will grow, stretch and thrive in every season of your life.
Change “I could never do it” to “I’ve never done it, but with God’s help, I’ll give it a try” and then enjoy the adventure of filling your life’s pages right up to the edge.