In the sport’s world, you’ll often hear something along these lines, “You’ll always miss the shots you never take.” And while this is certainly true with sports, this truth carries over into our everyday life as well. How many shots do we miss, simply because we are too afraid to try?
When was the last time you tried something new?
Think about it for a moment. We always encourage our children to try new things. We cheer them on as they show up for their first little league game. We buy or rent that instrument so they can take music lessons. We purchase leotards and ballet shoes, splurge on sequins and tiaras for recitals, all so they can learn to dance. In the school drop-off line, we remind them to introduce themselves to the new kid and to make new friends.
So what about us? Why as adults do we often stop trying new things and accepting new challenges? At times, perhaps we are so busy making a living and making a life that we forget to actually live. At other times, maybe it’s fear that holds us back.
When was the last time you pursued a dream even though you were afraid of failure? We often encourage our children to overcome their fears and to face their failures. We say things like, “If you get knocked down, you get back up again.” And, “The only way to fail is to fail to try.” We say these things to them, but often don’t apply them to our life.
Sometimes it seems riskier to fail as an adult doesn’t it? If we try that new job and it doesn’t work out, then what? If we volunteer to teach that class or lead that group and it doesn’t go as planned, what then? If we follow through on that dream and it doesn’t work out, we fear being laughed at or perhaps judged.
But here’s the thing. All too often I think we write off our dreams because we’re afraid of failure. We pray to God for purpose and meaning, hear His voice, and then dismiss His calling because we think that surely God couldn’t use us. Perhaps we do step out in faith only to see a wilderness before us. If it’s God’s will, shouldn’t this be easier?
I don’t think God calls us towards “easy,” but I do believe that He calls each one of us. We each have a purpose, a reason for being here. Are we fulfilling the work God has for us or are we allowing fear to rule instead?
In the Gospel of John Jesus prays to God saying, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
I want to be able to say this prayer. When my days on earth are done, I want to be able to say that I brought glory to God on earth by finishing the work He gave me to do. I don’t want fear to stop me. I don’t want the fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of what others think, fear of the unknown, fear of ridicule, or fear of change to prevent me from fulfilling my purpose.
If fear leads the way, we will never take the shot.
And we will always miss the shots we never take.