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Doing the Next Thing

I have a friend who always dreamt of being a published author.

She’s now the author of five books, one of them that hit The New York Times best-seller list. She’s been so successful at

writing that quitting her day job to become a full-time author is actually

within her grasp. When someone asked her what was the best advice about writing

that she ever received, she said something so simple yet profound that it’s

stayed with me. She said that she just took the first step and sat down and

started writing.

The advice she received was from Mark Batterson’s book In a Pit with a Lion On a Snowy Day. The

book is about how to thrive when opportunity comes, and Mark describes the idea

of “one small step, one giant leap” moments.  He writes, “One courageous choice may be the only thing

between you and your dream becoming a reality. And it may be as simple as

placing a phone call, downloading an application, or sending an email.”

Essentially, small choices can have major consequences.

My friend took this advice to heart. She dedicated her lunch

break to writing her first novel. She closed the door to her office, put up a “Do

Not Disturb” sign and cranked out the story. She risked rejection and submitted

the manuscript and eventually got a book deal. The journey to becoming a

published author began with taking the time to write a few hours every week

and the courage to send her manuscript to a publishing company. Such a simple

first step, yet the consequences have been life-changing. Essentially it boils

down to this: She stopped talking about writing a book and actually started

writing a book.

It’s not a complicated concept, but the idea of just doing

the next thing and taking the first small step isn’t easy. Why? Because it’s

easier to stay in the safe zone. What if my friend had finished her book and no

one wanted to publish it? What if you ask a girl out, and she says no? What if your

boss doesn’t think your idea is a good one? What if you study for months and

still don’t pass the final exam? What if …

As young adults it can seem overwhelming to actually

start achieving our dreams, right? We can become paralyzed by all the possibilities

that we freeze up, and instead of taking one step, we don’t take any. We

think about taking that one small step someday … someday when I’m done with

school … someday when I’m financially secure … someday when I’m married. But the

problem is someday comes and goes, and we still haven’t take the first step to

pursue our dreams and live out whatever God has called us to.

Is there something in your life requiring you to just take

the first step? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by where to start, what’s one

thing that you can do to get started?

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