Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Isaiah 30:21

back of girl riding bike

The Voice Behind You

Girl riding her bike.

I remember learning to ride a bike. It wasn’t pretty. My dad started me in the grass. He’d run alongside me as my little legs peddled, and handlebars wobbled. I wouldn’t know exactly when my dad let go of the back of the bike, but eventually, I’d notice his encouraging voice growing distant, “Keep going. You’re doing it.”

Once I was able to keep my balance in the grass, my dad graduated me to the road. We lived in a circle on the slope of a hill. He’d start at the top stay with me as long as he could, I remember the blur of the road under the wheels, the wind on my face, and my chest expanding as I realized. “I’m doing it. I’ve got this.” Then I noticed the curve in the road. I panicked. My dad’s pounding footsteps sounded behind me while he yelled, “Turn, turn, turn the handlebars!” I didn’t turn. I crashed in a heap in a drainage ditch.

Dad walking with daughter

My dad picked me up, dusted me off, and helped walk my bike back up the hill to try again. A couple more ditch crashes and a run-in with a mailbox, and I became a biking pro. My dad and I marched back into the house, exhausted and bruised, but with a satisfying sense of accomplishment.

Life can often be like learning to ride a bike. One moment we think we’ve got it—we can do this on our own—but the next thing we know, we’re lying in a ditch while our Heavenly Father pulls us out and dusts us off. He helps us get back on the bike and runs alongside whispering, “This is the way, walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21.

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my son saying wow!

Wow Before How

Just say wow before you say how. It has become my mantra. Andy Stanley, Pastor of my son saying wow!North Point Church, introduced this idea at a Leadercast summit, and the visionary part of my husband strapped it on like a jetpack. Ideas excite my husband. He thinks on a macro level. It’s what makes him a great entrepreneur and businessman. He has a million ideas, but because of my stunned reactions, he has learned to only tell me about three each day. I don’t want to be the rain cloud darkening his day, but my personality-type jumps to the micro level, working to figure out how to implement things. For me not to squash his ideas, I’ve learned to keep my mouth closed and hear him out or to just say “Wow,” before I say “How?”

Similarly, in writing, there are three types of people: plotters—those who outline every scene in detail, pantsters—those who open their computers and start typing detailed drawing of writing a business planor “fly by the seat of their pants” (hence the name), and those who fall somewhere in between. In life, some of us are plotters who want to know all the details before we move forward. We are always asking God for direction. What major should I declare and what classes should I take? Should I ask for a promotion? What should I say to my boss? Should we have children? If so, how many, and how can we make them excel in school, be social, and athletic?

Seeking God’s guidance is a good thing. However, we often want to know all the answers and have a guarantee of a good outcome before we even start.

It’s easy to get caught up in the details. We can be paralyzed by the what-ifs. Yet, “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we cannot see,” (Hebrews 11:1). God may be waiting for us to step out in faith first before He shows us what’s up ahead. If I had known how much was involved in writing, I might not have started, and if I had known all that is involved in parenting, I still would have had kids, but I might have stalled a bit longer. The truth is God knows what we can handle, and He has equipped us properly (2 Peter 1:3). David had five stones to slay Goliath, but it only took one.

But what if we make a mistake?

Failure is an event. It is not a person. Don’t get caught up in the fleeting moments. Often, we focus too much on the obstacles the devil throws in our path that cause us Wow before How written on lined paperto stumble or fall. A setback isn’t going to stop God. The Almighty will see His purpose through to completion. Dust yourself off. Learn from those fleeting moments, but trust in the One who controls your ultimate destiny.

Remember that the Maker of the universe is behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” (Isaiah 30:21).

When you focus on God’s greatness, it’s easy to say “Wow” before you say “how?”

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