Let’s go for a swim. Just ingore the sharks.

shark

It seems like life’s problems suddenly make sense when other people ask us for advice. We could be praying, stressing, and dwelling on a particular emotion or situation, and when someone else is having the same problem, words come out of our mouths that we didn’t even know were in our brain. We end up not only giving someone advice but challenging ourselves as well.

When someone asks me for advice, I think back to what I did in a similar situation. The other day, someone told me they felt stuck and didn’t know how to move forward. I thought back to when I felt that way. I remember when I graduated college and didn’t know what to do next.  I thought it would be good to make more friends and help a community outreach. Both of these things were out of my comfort zone. But once I started meeting people with intention, aiming to have healthy God centered relationships, I realized what I had been missing. Once I began regularly volunteering to help feed lunch to the poor and homeless, I gained a new fresh perspective.  Those things both changed my life. I saw a part of the community I never saw before, and it challenged me to be uncomfortable. Eventually I did a two-year leadership program at my church because of these choices. But not everyone becomes unstuck by the same things.  I boiled down what specifically helped me move forward in life: Gaining perspective and taking a risk.

I told the person who felt stuck, to find perspective and take a risk. The time frame from hearing his problem and my response was about 30 seconds. I thought about it for a second and my own words came and smacked me in the face. I have been feeling stuck as well. I need to gain perspective and take a risk.

Why gain perspective?  Well sometimes we have a difficult time seeing life from any other view besides our own. We see only one angle of life. If we look at the sky from a different side of the earth, we will see the sun or the moon, snow, or rain, cold or hot, depending on where we are standing.  A piece of art might look beautiful or ugly, abstract or realistic, depending on what angle we look at it. Life will look different from a person who lives in a house, with a loving family, compared to a lonely homeless man. When we put ourselves in a position to see the world from another point of view, we begin to see ourselves for who we really are. We see how our perspective may need to change, and this new view gives us the motivation to take action because a dose of reality shakes up the perspective we have had for so long.

Why take a risk?  It will change your life. What are you afraid of doing? It probably isn’t as scary as you think it will be. What is the worst that could happen? Don’t ask that question if you’re skydiving or swimming with sharks. But If you are always cozy and comfortable in life, you won’t learn much. Risk taking is thrilling, challenging, and will catapult you into an adventure. The hardest part is the first leap off the cliff.  I’ve always been afraid of people. I’d rather be quiet and invisible than rejected or embarrassed.  But I was tired of being lonely and trapped in my own head. I was fed up with feeling alone and finally began to consistently met with a group at church. I didn’t always feel like going. I was scared every time I went. Sometimes I left feeling defeated and lonelier than before. With a risk, we need to keep at it regardless of how we feel. Consistent risk taking will give us a new confidence.  Haven’t you heard that saying, ” A little swim with sharks a day, is good for the soul,” ?  Ya me either but  would keep life interesting.  I still have a fear of people but I ignore it and have found my life completely changed by being in consistent community. What fear is holding you back? Risk looks different to all of us. You might not be afraid of people. Maybe a risk to you is getting involved in a new ministry, moving to a new city, starting a business, or just going for a jog everyday.  I think you will discover that regret is worse than failure.  Find what risk will move you forward and do it.

If you feel stuck in life, there might be many solutions for you. But taking on a new perspective and taking a risk will definitely help you move forward. Also find people who need advice so you can realize you knew what to do all along.

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:5

The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;Psalm 37:23

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