Do you feel ready? Are you ready to step up to the next level of living? Are you ready to rise up to your potential? Are you ready to do more with your days and make them count? Are you ready to get started and actually DO this thing?
Or are you waiting to feel ready?
It’s easy to assume one day we will really FEEL READY, and on that day we will start doing it, so we sit and wait for that feeling to hit. We wait and we wait. We wait for better circumstances. We wait for more convenient timing. We wait for the storms to calm. And when that time comes we will know because we will wake up and feel it.
NO YOU WON’T.
You’ll never feel ready for a darn thing before you step all the way into it. And even when you step into it, there will be plenty of days you’re still pretty darn sure you were never ready.
I remember being in my early 20’s and thinking of a family. I wanted a baby, but I knew we weren’t ready for a baby. We didn’t have any money saved. I didn’t know the first thing about raising a child. We were not prepared. So we were waiting until we felt ready.
All these years later, I’m pretty sure we would still be waiting to feel ready if it weren’t for that little accident that brought us our first child. I wasn’t ready and I screwed up a whole lot along the way, but we all survived and the baby I didn’t feel ready for is a 21 year old soldier in the Army. I was more ready than I thought.
I totally stumbled into marathon running. Like literally stumbled through a door, sat in a meeting that told me they needed someone to run as a stroke survivor, so I paid the deposit, signed up for a race and on my way out the door I casually asked “oh by the way, how far is a marathon?” You can imagine my surprise when the coach said 26.2 miles. I had no idea what I had just signed up for. I didn’t feel ready to start that journey. My first training run of 3 miles I walked the entire way and couldn’t even work up the courage to try and run. I didn’t feel ready at all. 5 months later, after hundreds of training miles and a few sacrificed toenails, it was marathon day. I stood in the middle of Disney World to start my race and I wasn’t feeling it. If I could have hid, I would have. I felt so unready my body responded with a bloody nose and diarrhea. But a few hours of running with the crowd and high 5ing happy people along the way, I found myself crossing my first finish line and realized I was more ready than I thought.
But I never felt ready.
You’re sitting and waiting to feel ready for something and honey you’re waiting for something you simply don’t need. You don’t need to FEEL it at all. The feelings of preparedness come much later in the game. You’re at the point where all you need is a willingness. Yes, a willingness to get started. A willingness to boldly go. A willingness to say yes and start.
This is what God is looking for. He’s looking for your willingness to get started, not your feelings of readiness.
I’m currently reading a chapter of Luke each day leading to Christmas. It’s the story of Jesus’ life in 24 chapters. It had been a long time since I sat down and read the entire story, so it’s been eye opening. Permission to be honest here? I’m reading these stories and Jesus didn’t mess around. He was bold, to the point, and had no time for a single excuse. Sometimes his words even came across harsh as I was reading them.
Like the story of Jesus encountering a young man who wanted to follow him in Luke 9. In verse 59 Jesus said “Come, follow me.” The man agreed, but he said “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
See what I mean … harsh. Why couldn’t Jesus just give this guy a few days to bury his dad and then let him come be his disciple? But what if this wasn’t about a young man burying his dead father at all? It doesn’t say his father had died. It says, let me go back home and bury my father, then I will come follow you. What if this was a situation of “I’m not quite ready yet, but once my father dies, then I’ll feel more ready and Jesus I’m coming for ya then.”
Maybe this man just didn’t FEEL READY and he was thinking at some point in the future when circumstances were different and his schedule was cleared up, he would feel ready and then we would get to following Jesus. Maybe that’s why Jesus was harsh. He was responding to this delay we all apply to the next step in life as we wait to feel like it.
In my experience God calls us long before we feel like it.
You know that scripture that says God loves a cheerful giver? I remember the seasons of life when there was more month left at the end of the paycheck. I remember cooking shrimp flavored ramen noodles and declaring it our fancy seafood dinner. I remember the Christmas of $5 homemade gifts. I couldn’t be a cheerful giver because if I gave there wouldn’t be anything left. I never felt ready to give that first portion of my income back to God. But God never asked me to feel ready, he asked me to be obedient. The cheerful part of my giving came long after when I began to understand you can’t outgive a giver.
Have you ever given a gift to a giver? They give you an even bigger thank you gift. You give to them and they give even more to you. You can never outgive them. Our God is a giver. He loves to give. I seriously think he leans over the rails of heaven with pure joy scheming up ways to give to his children and watches as the gift unfolds. I’ve truly found I can’t outgive God. Every single thing I give to him, he returns to me in abundance. I’m so glad I jumped into this giving relationship with God before I ever felt ready.
I don’t know what you’re waiting on. Waiting for some sign. Waiting for doors to literally fall off their hinges. Waiting for more support and your own cheer squad. Waiting for the kids to be grown and times to be easier. Waiting for the stars to align and flashing lights to show the way. Waiting for a better job, more money, a bigger house, less stress … blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
I can just hear Jesus now. Come follow me. Follow me to a life bigger than you ever imagined. Follow me to see your true potential. Follow me to step into what you’re really created for.
And we respond with our list of things we’re busy with and the myraid of reasons why now is not exactly the optimal time. But you know Jesus, I’ll feel a bit more ready if you just come back around with that offer after Christmas. Yes, come back in the new year and I’m certain I’ll be ready to get started.
AND YOU MISS IT.
You miss what is right here for you.
You’re never going to feel completely ready to get started. You’re not going to magically wake up with this overflowing abundance of energy and willpower and be like “yesssss … it’s here today, I’m ready for this!” No, day 1 and step 1 always feel uncertain and untimely. That’s where faith comes in.
You’re more ready than you know, you just don’t feel it. Won’t you take that step any way? Won’t you dare to see where Jesus may be leading you?
There are a whole lot of people a few miles further down the road than you who simply got started earlier. And guess what, they didn’t feel ready either! Now it’s your turn. What will your response be today?