What I learned from Jesus about taking risks.

Image from rawpixel.com

It’s story time! Quite a while back, I was working with a business coach. Deb was great—she taught me a ton about neuroscience and how it affected my thoughts and behaviors as it related to my business. While at a conference she was giving, she told a hilarious story. I’m going to get some of the details wrong, but it’s still funny.


Deb had been nominated to receive an award—I don’t recall what for. She was at the event where the award recipient would be announced and, much to her chagrin, she was dressed to the nines. Getting dressed up was not her personal preference. She preferred comfortable, breathable clothes, but being being nominated for an award, she decided to conform. She even wore high heels.

When the time came for the winner to be announced, she was shocked to hear her name. Her shock quickly turned to dread when she realized that as the winner, she would have to walk up to the podium to deliver an acceptance speech.

Having never really gotten the hang of wearing high heels, she slowly wobbled her way up to the front, her ankles threatening to give way with each step. Embarrassed, she clung to the side of every table along the way. As she approached the stage, she encountered a series of steps—ankles don’t fail me now, she thought. Deb cautiously made her way up the steps without incident—success!

As she slowly inched her way to the podium, her heel got caught in a small hole in the stage floor and she couldn’t get it loose. Now this was something she knew what to do about—whenever she got stuck on something or in something in sports, she would force it loose.

So, naturally, she wound her toned and muscular leg back toward the high heel and kicked forward with all her might. It worked! The shoe came loose—and it flew all the way across the stage, past the face of the emcee, and landed on the other side of the room, hitting the floor with a thud.

She ducked down in horror, at which point her dress partially split down the back. In a panic, she sidestepped to the podium, grabbed her award, said a quick, muffled thank you into the microphone, and shuffled off stage left. The room was silent and Deb was mortified.


Image from rawpixel.com

The very idea of re-living any version Deb’s story makes me want to crawl in bed and never come out again. Can I get a big hell to the no thank you?

When we force things, sometimes it works. More often than not, we end up with one shoe off, a torn dress, a cold draft, a mediocre speech, and a confused audience. To quote the beloved Mr. Banks from Mary Poppins, “In short, we have a ghastly mess.”

If I’m honest, the idea of making a public spectacle of myself while trying out a new idea is not on my bucket list of things to do before I die. While the phrase “hot mess” is displayed on t-shirts, tumblers, and notebooks, is culturally acceptable, I don’t want to be labeled or seen that way—I don’t think you do either. We want to get things right and look good doing it.

So this puts me in a pickle. I am a writer (obviously) and I want to grow and expand my craft. I know what I want to write about: life, Jesus, discipleship, and hearing the still, small voice of God. What I don’t know is what is going to bring value to your life and I don’t want to fumble around trying to figure it out while you watch.

Guess what—what I am learning is there’s really no other way to do it.

Everyone pursuing anything worth doing is fumbling around, trying new ideas, testing the waters, making mistakes, and figuring it out. It isn’t always pretty like our Instagram posts make it seem. It looks like getting your high heel stuck in a hole on the floor and trying to force it loose—sometimes it breaks free and other times we kick our shoe across the stage and barely miss someone’s face.

Here’s what I know about Jesus—he took risks. He did some things that made people go “Huh?” but no matter how people perceived him, God was always with him. You know what else Jesus had? Some friends. Some friends who went anywhere and everywhere with him. They copied him, questioned him, loved him, and some even left him. But God never left him—Jesus kept on doing what he knew God called him to do.

Thank God for that—literally.

So in the spirit of taking risks like Jesus on the path to doing what I know God has called me to do, I asked my Facebook and Instagram friends what they struggle with in their faith—and then I waited. They offered some great insight and I am grateful.

So for their sake, your sake, and mine—I’m getting my high heels on. If you see one coming toward your face, please duck and then tell me about it. I may be the one writing, but we are on this journey of listening for the still, small voice of God together. Your kind words are welcome here.

Image from rawpixel.com

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