Every time I had a run in with him, I called her. My business hero, my career mentor, my friend. She always gave me great advice. She made recommendations that actually worked! She listened to my sob stories. She was my shoulder to lean on. She gave me confidence that I could handle whatever he threw my way.
“He” was someone at work who couldn’t stand me. He looked for me to make mistakes and seemed to love to let everyone know about them. He watched for opportunities to let me fail and gave me a piece of his mind every chance he had. He complained. He argued. He justified. He drained me. And I was his manager.
I would call her, and she would make it better. She would give me pointers for things to say and do to encourage a better working relationship and performance. She coached me, she held me accountable, she made me better. She listened so well.
The one day, she said it. It was a long time coming but it was still hard to hear:
“I’m done with the (insert name) situation,” she said. “You need to either do something permanent about this, or stop talking about it. I’m so over you about him. Do something already!”
Because I trusted and respected her, I didn’t get offended. I received her words with a knot in my stomach knowing she was right. I had to stop talking about it. I had to stop complaining about him. I had to quit my bad habit. It was time to do something about it.
I guess I got lucky, because the very next week he quit. He walked into my office and said it would be his last day. End of story.
I was reminded of this particularly awkward time in my work history when I was journaling last week. I wrote “I’ve been talking to you about this for years, Lord. When are you going to show up?! When are you going to do what I know is within your will and is what I believe you are calling me to do? Why won’t you act?!” And suddenly as soon as the words had hit the paper I realized that this thing that I’ve prayed for what seems like forever was suddenly like that person that I used to stress out about at work. And maybe God was just like her, telling me to stop whining and talking about it and to just DO something already.
Sometimes God sweeps in, rescues by fire or wind or the parting of the red sea– and sometimes He gives us the authority to swim across the river. It’s as if He’s whispering, “Do something already!”
There are some things in life that are not a mystery. It is not a mystery that God wants you to tell the truth, remain faithful in your marriage (aka don’t cheat!), be generous, love your neighbor, etc… The list can go on and on. These are not mysteries. These are God’s will. We can compare our SWAT analyses and we will always come back to the same result: these are God’s will.
Do something already.
Sometimes I pray and pray and pray, ask and ask and ask and I am like that man in that fable that is asking to be rescued. The man looks up to heaven, seeing the rain pouring down and asks the Lord to save him from this horrible flood. A fireman comes to the door and says he’s there to help evacuate the neighborhood, and would the man please let him escort him out. The man replies, “I am waiting for the Lord to rescue me.” So the fireman leaves, the man crawls up the roof as the water rises higher and higher, and a boat comes along to save him, but he tells the captain of the ship “the Lord’s a comin’! He’s going to rescue me!” A little while later, a helicopter comes and drops a ladder! Again, the man looks up to the pilot and says, “The Lord is coming to rescue me! Go on!” Finally, the man drowns and he meets God in heaven and asks him, “Why didn’t you rescue me?” God just chuckles and says “what did you think the fireman, the boat and the helicopter were?!”
DO SOMETHING ALREADY!
Get on that boat, climb up the ladder and go with that fireman. Do something!
I get it, Lord.
I know you want me to do something!
Now, please… In all honesty… WHAT is it you want me to do?!
I am annoying myself just writing this post! I’m impossible! I pray God doesn’t give up on me and roll his eyes in frustration. But I’m serious… I know He’s calling me to act but I’m not exactly sure where or how or what I should be doing.
I feel like that fourth grade girl playing softball at shortstop. The ball flew my way and I knew I had to do something with it but I just didn’t know where to throw it. If I threw it to home plate I could get a runner out possibly, but maybe I should just throw it to first base and get the hitter out. Or maybe throw it to third? So I did what any fourth grade girl who isn’t good at softball does. I threw it at the fence and played it off like it slipped out of my hands in the wrong direction!
I knew I had to do something with that dang ball. I heard people telling me to throw it to first, to home, to third! I knew I had to do something already! I just didn’t know exactly what was the best move so I threw the ball AT THE FENCE!
Lord God I do not want to keep throwing balls at the fence. Oh please protect me from throwing my life at the proverbial fence!
Do something already, but please… Not the fence.
When I am faced with the knowledge that I’ve got to get moving but I’m not sure what to do, I know I should do the thing in front of me so that at all costs I can avoid throwing my ball at the fence. But it’s hard, I’m not gonna lie!
Do something already!
But what?! 🙂
Have you ever felt similar? Have you ever felt called to act but not sure exactly what you should do?