The phone slid back onto its cradle, and I wondered why in the world I kept screwing up.
It’s the zillionth call I’ve taken where I didn’t ask for the person’s contact info. I don’t like to be pushy, but when you’re in sales, you really need to know how to reach someone. That’s kind of obvious, yet almost every time, I don’t press for their phone number, last name, etc. I bring this up because it’s yet another area where I continually don’t quite measure up. And it’s another area in my life where I’m wondering why exactly I’m here.
Why am I putting myself in this position?
Why am I trying to stretch myself to do something I’m obviously not good at?
I had the same questions hit me last month when I sat waiting for my group to be called to the stage for introductions at a writers’ conference. It was my first time attending as a faculty member, and I had to introduce myself as the new acquisitions editor for Taberah Press. As I waited to go up to the platform, the questions hit me.
Why am I putting myself in this uncomfortable, scary place?
Why am I here when I so obviously should be hiding in a seat in the back of the room?
These are situations I could stop. I could find a new job, refuse to introduce myself, and sit safely in my house not forgetting to ask for phone numbers or names. But I don’t, and you know why?
Why do I keep finding myself in these overwhelming, daunting, and difficult places where I don’t have to be?
Because NOT being in this very spot at this very moment would be denying something I do not want to deny. It would require me to settle, slow down, or even stop, and despite my fear and displeasure with my poor performance, I really do want to move on, grow up, and reach for the very best life has to offer. It’s the one thing I can do that draws a line between dying and just beginning to live. It’s the choices I make.
There are loads of things we don’t get to choose– our age, whether or not people will like us, how successful we will be, but far be it from any of us to take the privilege of choice and deny it because of fear or failure. I could choose to not go through that open door. I could choose to run away instead of stay and hope. I could choose to not believe, but I don’t.
I choose to take the risks.
I answer phones I probably have no business answering, and I try to do better the next time.
I meet with new writers, hear their stories, and dream with them for a little while.
I get hurt, fall down, and occasionally experience an amazing victory.
We should never fear failing and looking completely inept. Instead we should fear the mediocrity that’s bred in a life lived safely away from pressures and struggles and the unknown.
So I choose to take risks, and I choose to trust God.
Our ability to choose is a gift given by God. We are the ones accountable for the life we lead. Why? Because we have a choice in how we live it. What will you let determine your choice today? Will it be your heart or what the world has to say?