In one of his quotes, David Levithan once said “The older you get, the wiser you are”. I know I am young and I will speak with joy about how privileged I am to learn from life experiences, without waiting till old age to learn or become wiser.
My Beautiful Experience… I was given an opportunity to represent my school in a quiz competition. Earlier, I decided that I wouldn’t go for it; but a day before the quiz I had a change of mind and needed to meet with my partner for preparations. Reluctantly, I attended the meeting; it means nothing after all, was my thought. I felt lax and did not prepare as I am used to such competitions.
That Friday night, I put my tired self together and made up my mind to read at mid-night - it was a norm for me especially when I have something important to prepare for. The most I could do was read two pages of the material I was given.
“Let all participants come forward”, the moderator said. I felt my legs shaking and could hear my own heartbeat pounding, as if my heart wanted to break free from the whole of my body. I cannot bear the shame of failure. My partner and I stepped forward and took our seats. Our opponents looked adequately prepared - this increased my fear.
“Is that your final answer?” “Are you sure?” The quiz master kept asking. “Yes, that is my final answer”, I quibbled. He looked at my partner, then looked at me, and shook his head. “That answer is not correct”, I heard him say, like a distant whizzing breeze. I felt my heartbeat skip; “My God! It is our first question! Dear Lord, please do not let us fail”, I silently prayed. Meanwhile, our opponent got theirs right.
The next question came, with confidence and the arrogance of a lion, I reeled off the answer. Again, the quiz master asked if I was sure. Confidently, I said yes and forfeited the time left to redeem myself from failing. Like a blow, the response came again: “that is incorrect”. “What?! It cannot be”, I panicked. I knew I read that part and was so sure of the answer. After a few minutes of a desperate argument with the quiz master and some people, it was a futile effort.
Finally, the quiz came to an end. It wasn’t so bad as we did our best. I raised my hand immediately I saw the opportunity to air my grievance. I brought back the issue and pleaded to have my facts presented. My request was granted and it was cleared. “Please give them their points”, the quiz master instructed the scorer. The results were announced. WE WON!!!
Wouldn’t you rather take some steps with me...? I knew I was going to participate in that quiz and I deliberately refused to prepare. There are some people out there who are like me - you know there is something up, instead of making plans and preparing for the rainy day, you fold your arms and wait till it is almost late before taking the necessary actions. I was fortunate to have a partner who helped me and we won together. You might not have such privilege. Think of the stress you will save yourself if you begin your preparations early. Hall of Fame NFL Coach, Jimmy Johnson, once said: “Success happens when opportunity meets preparation”. God knows the essence of preparations -that is why everyone He called, He made them go through serious preparations. A typical example is Moses who was called at age 40. Moses didn’t become the leader of Israel till he was 80. David, Joseph, and Paul even the chosen 12 apostles were taken through the path of preparations.
Aren’t you tired of your present state? For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Tim 1:7 --- I kept thanking God for giving me the courage to call the quiz master’s attention back to the question. I could have let it go, it really meant nothing. I had to think again and again.
Many times, you really desire something, not just anything, but something substantial, something that will bring a sense of fulfillment and because you are thinking of all the “What ifs” that will happen if you take the bold step, you miss out on something great.
What if I take this chance and fail?
What if I do not get to live one more day?
What if I tell the truth and I am hated for it?
What if this, what if that?
WHAT IF YOU TAKE THAT LEAP OF FAITH AND TRUST GOD TO MAKE A WAY?