“You should do the things you want to do now. Don’t wait!” he answered.
I was looking at a new motorcycle with my son. As we pulled into the dealership, David on his Triumph and me on my Harley, we were greeted by a salesman.
He was an older man with kind eyes and an inviting manner. You could say he was a friendly old guy. It wasn’t long before I learned he was also a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast who loved to tell stories.
As we were about to leave, I asked him, “How old are you?”
He said, “I’m seventy years old. How about you?”
“I’m sixty-three, and I need your advice,” I said.
“How can I help?” he asked.
“You’ve got me by seven years. What advice do you have for me on how I should live these years as I approach seventy?” I asked.
That’s when he told me to do the trips with my wife I always dreamed of riding.
He said, “I’ve ridden cross country four times in the last ten years. You never know when the day will come when you won’t be able to do it. Do it now!”
I’ve asked this same advice from several seventy year olds. They always have the same answer. “Whatever it is you’ve been thinking about doing, do it now!”
Stepping Outside My Zone
There are two categories of things I think about doing. There are the things I always dreamed of doing. Things I want to do for me. Then there are the things I know I should do but am afraid to try. Things I am called to do for others.
The things I am afraid to do will have the greatest impact. Here’s a short list.
- Speaking in Africa at the Kingdom Minded Entrepreneurship conference.
- Starting a weekly blog with two posts each week.
- Starting a mastermind group.
- Leading the Atlanta Tech Prayer Breakfast ministry.
- Reinventing what I do so I can have a bigger impact but on fewer people.
- Praying daily with Kathy.
All of these are outside my comfort zone. If I make the choice to do these things:
- I don’t know what will happen.
- I don’t know where they might take me.
- I don’t know how much of my time they will take.
- I don’t know if I’ll be good at them. I just don’t know.
Taking a motorcycle trip to California is fun! Impacting others may not be!
Maximum Sense of Fulfillment
I was asked to speak in Uganda on Kingdom Minded Entrepreneurship. I said “no” more times than I can count. But one day, three years ago, I said “yes.” This led Kathy and me on one of the most exciting adventures of our lives.
We met the beautiful people of Uganda and made new friends. Visited and experienced their beautiful country and culture. Prayed, created, prepared and delivered dozens of presentations on entrepreneurship and godly living. Spoke in front of thousands of youth and pastors who hung onto every word while taking notes.
The decision to do this was so rewarding and fulfilling. I even received a love offering from the poor. One of the most humbling experiences of my life.
Genuine Impact That Changes Lives
I spoke to a group of teachers in a Ugandan orphanage. All of them attended the conference on Kingdom Minded Entrepreneurship. After the conference, Kathy and I visited them for a more intimate conversation.
At the end of our meeting, Pastor Elijah asked one of the teachers to speak a word of thanks on behalf of their group.
This young teacher stood up and said, “I speak for all of us when I say ‘thank you.’ We know how difficult it is to travel to Uganda from America. You are in a strange land, separated from your family and all that you know. Not many people do what you are doing, and we greatly appreciate it. Your message has a big impact on all of us in Uganda. Thank you.”
How God Speaks to Me
Making the decision to do the things I am afraid to do changes my destiny. These decisions will move me into the unknown, the uncontrollable, the place where I must rely on God.
These decisions are led by Him, and that’s why I use the word “called.” In my experience, God is always challenging me. He speaks to me through my wife, the Bible, other Christ-followers and prayer. The ideas, the challenges keep coming as Uganda was just one example.
God made me for a purpose. He knew my destiny when he created me. Will I listen and make the decisions to follow him? To do the things I am afraid to do? The things I can only accomplish if I say “yes” and rely on Him?
In May, Kathy and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary. We have planned a seven-day motorcycle trip (thanks to my Rabbi of fun, David Nour) in north-central Italy. Something we have always wanted to do.
The things I want to do, I am doing. This is the fun part.
The things I am afraid of doing bring fulfillment, impact others and change destinies.
What has God called you to that you are afraid of doing?
Also published on Medium.