A few years ago, after flying across the country for a speaking engagement with a national women’s ministry, I was sharing my experiences with my sister. More than once her response was, “Oh, I could never do that!”
Thinking about our conversation, later, I recalled a time when I thought I could never do some of the things I now do routinely. In fact, if asked, I would once have refused to even try. So what had changed?
In large part the change in my attitude has to do with experience. Once a person accomplishes a new thing the realm of the possible expands making the next impossible opportunity appear less daunting.
We’ve all heard the expression “If you want something done ask a busy person,” but I prefer this variation: “…ask the person who is busy accomplishing things.”
I’m sure you have known one or two busy people, constantly in motion, who never seem to finish the task at hand. The productive person, on the other hand, has developed the skills and attitude to get a job done and move on to the next.
Many a busy person is just too busy. That busy-ness may be a security blanket, a protection against trying something new and failing. Too many of us let our fears limit us.
If the circumstances of my life had not forced me to step out on faith I would still be limiting myself, unnecessarily, by those things I could just never do because I had never done them before.
At one time or another I have used the excuse of being too young, too old, too inexperienced, too short, too fat, too poor, too fearful, too shy, too tired or too busy. I no longer can claim to be too young, but most of the others could still be in my repertoire of excuses, if I let them.
However, as my mother always said, “You never know what you can do until you try.”
Serving a term on the National Board of American Baptist Women’s Ministries a few years ago stretched me and pushed out my limits beyond anything I ever thought possible, and at time of life when I might have expected those limits to be contracting.
God prepared me for the opportunity, nudging me to become more trusting in him, so I was able me to say, “Sure, I’ll give it a try,” when the old me would have said, “Oh, I could never do that.”
We all have absolute limitations, of course. I can’t fly like a bird, turn back time or lift an elephant. Some people have real physical restrictions due to an 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 not my thing, etc.”
Stop concentrating on the things you could never do and open yourself to God’s leading. He will give you opportunities you might never have imagined.
You can grow, stretch and thrive in every season of your life if you 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 just enjoy the adventure.