Just say wow before you say how. It has become my mantra. Andy Stanley, Pastor of 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 or “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 to 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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