A couple of months ago I asked a question on my Facebook wall regarding the people around me who seemed naturally gifted to accomplish anything they set out to do. Whether it was academics, basketball, sewing or basket weaving. They seemed to have the ability to make magic come to life with whatever they did. It seemed that while I was I just being me, these people where being super humans. I wanted to know if they were naturally gifted or did they have to do something to get to where they are. I got great responses online and offline, but I have continued to think and pray about if it’s possible for me, a little nobody (or so it seems sometimes) to accomplish great things all around me, too.
Over the last few months the Lord has shown me in great ways that I too am capable of great things, but he has also shown me to focus on what I love to do. If I don’t love basketball then for heavens sake don’t play or watch basketball. Do what I love to do, what brings me joy and happiness. Focus on those things and let those gifts and talents shine. What I have learned is life takes a lot of baby steps, one foot in front of the other. It requires building up endurance and stamina to continue to keep going when all you want to do is give up. When you see someone take a giant leap, what you haven’t seen are all of the teenny, tiny steps they took. You haven’t seen all of the times they stumbled, fell, cried and yelled curse words they didn’t know could come out of their mouths. When someone leaps and writes a book, becomes a black belt, buys a building or grows a business there are so many steps to the process.
One of the baby steps they had to take was facing their skeleton(s) in their closet. They had to look themselves in the mirror and move through the painful process of telling the image they can’t do it. They had to cry, bleed, scrap their knee and get dirty. They had to do the dirty work of facing their demons and slaying dragons to move through ugly fear. They had to move through making the decision of whether they were going to give up or keep going. If they have chosen to keep going then they begin to move to a place they are able to give themselves a high five because they failed, which means they tried. It’s even better and worth celebrating even more if the trying attempt didn’t blow up, hurt someone or themselves, plus they were able to pay all of their personal bills as well as their business bills in the same month. Seriously, that right there is the biggest success of the moment.
I say of the moment, because these people who have learned to leap have learned that joy is a moment by moment process. They have learned to embrace swearing and be thankful when they don’t have to or at least it doesn’t just spill out in the frustration, because in the moment everything is smooth sailing. Smoothing sailing does not mean sit back and drink a margarita. No, before you do that a leaper has learned to baton down the hatches because they know smooth sailing is not how the sea usually rolls. Once everything is as baton down as possible then they can sit back, shoot the breeze and calmly wait for the next explosion.
While explosions are still not pleasant at this stage a leaper has learned to look at the minimal damage that was done, brainstorm a problem solution, which sometimes cost a lot of money to fix. This is when believing in Jesus is handy, because sometimes, most of the time the situations are only fixable by Jesus himself. If you run our of wine, call Jesus and he turns water into wine? Need to walk on water, call Jesus, he helps you out of the boat. Storm roaring, call Jesus, he yells at the seas to take it easy and they listen. Although you try to avoid actually calling on Jesus or God in a negative way, because respectfully and honorable we love him and don’t want to call him a name. No, we don’t want to stoop to that level. But, hallelujah there is grace, love and mercy when we do.
The point is no one just leaps. Ok, so everyone once in a while someone gets a giant leg up and somewhat smooth sailing happens faster than the rest. Honestly, that is not how like ninety-five percent of the rest of the human population works. Life is not a microwave and it is helpful and healthy to embrace the reality sooner than later. Life is a slow cooker, more like trying to cook over a campfire. It’s slow, it’s steady and it takes patience both with yourself and the world.
It takes patience to be ok with not having all of the answers you needed yesterday. It takes planning and possibly two or three other jobs to make the leaping moment possible. Rarely, does anyone just leap and successfully land the first or twentieth time.
It also takes confidence. Mastering confidence requires having to fall on your face, hands and knees over and over and over. It takes time and practice to learn to laugh at yourself, both at the world and at the others who make fun of you. It takes time to be able to learn to stand up for yourself and for those around you. It doesn’t happen in a minute or a hour and sometimes depending on your wounds it can take years. Be patient with yourself, baby steps will take you where you want to go.
When you look around and see others leaping and flying it took time for them to get their wings. Remember they may not have the same wounds or scars as you. They are on a different journey, because they are a different person. Wishing you were doing what they are doing, won’t get you doing what you want to do until you decide to take actions to learn what you need to learn.
When your baby steps finally allow you to leap you gain confidence and you realize just how far you can leap when you stick to it and press on. The next time you are ready to tackle another project your once baby steps will turn into bigger strides, because you learned in the last project your going to have to jump a few hurdles. Jumping new hurdles won’t seem so scary because you learned you are creative and with patience and time will jump, go around, under or over the hurdle. The more you try the bigger strides you will take until you are taking death defying leaps and jumps that before would have scared you to death. Now you look back and wonder what you were so scared of. But, it takes baby steps to get there, because no one leaps or flies perfectly the first time. It all takes one step, one baby step at a time.