Have you ever been at the start of something new and felt butterflies? Whether it’s a race, a new job, the first day of school, a speaking engagement, or even a first date, we all feel those flutters of excitement mixed with fear. We’ve been waiting and planning for this day, but what if… What if we can’t keep up? What if we don’t have the right skills? What if we forget what we’re supposed to say? What if they don’t like us? What if…
So here’s a question: Is it harder for you to cross the starting line or the finish line?
This week I initially answered “finish line”. I considered the effort it takes to run the race, or do a good job on a hard project, or earn good grades. Getting to the finish line is no easy task.
But then I thought about how many of us fear what it might take to finish, so much that we never get started.
We may be able to push and pull ourselves all the way up to the starting line, but when it comes time to take that first step of faith and commit to moving forward, we stop dead in our tracks. We give up our dream. We stay in a situation that wears us down. We resign ourselves to our current lot.
All because we’re more afraid of the unknown than the known.
What are we afraid of? Not having the strength to finish? Not knowing where a new direction may take us? Going it alone into the unknown? What if…
What if our strength would grow as we stepped out in faith and pressed into God? What if the new path forward took us to places we never thought we’d see, allowing us to do things we never dreamed of doing? What if we could meet some of the most supportive and influential people in our lives by going in a new direction? What if…
What if the only thing holding us back from a new life filled with love, hope and purpose is our fear of crossing the starting line?
We will never know all of ups and downs that lead to the finish line before we cross the starting line. The only thing we can control is the decision to start. Consider this:
- It’s never too late to start.
- It’s never too late to start over.
- You may not know exactly what the finish line is now, but that’s not a reason to stay where you are.
- You will stretch and grow and change as you make your way toward the finish line.
- You can always decide to stop later, but you’ll never know how far you can go if you don’t cross the starting line.
- If you turn to God, He will guide you every step of the way, taking you places you never thought possible.
Don’t put it off. Don’t procrastinate any longer. Cross the starting line and see where you can go. Just start!
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
Let’s talk: Is it harder for you to cross the starting line or the finish line? What starting line is before you today?
May I pray? Heavenly Father, many of us want to get excited about “what could be”, but we’re afraid of what it might take to get there. We want lives filled with love, hope and purpose, yet up to now we’ve remained in virtually the same place year after year because we allow fear to stand in our way. Lord, help us to turn to You, trust in You, and walk forward with You. Give us the encouragement we need today to take a step of faith. May we cross the starting line to an unknown journey with new sisters in Christ, leading to a finish line that glorifies You. Amen.