Our youngest daughter started a newspaper route a couple of months ago. We grilled her on whether she was ready to take on the responsibility of delivering papers multiple times a week, on a time deadline, in rain, snow, sleet or hail (sounds postal) no matter what. It’s a big commitment.
I’ve never had a paper route. Ever.
Her older sister had a paper route for a few years and so that was my only experience. And that was a great thing as it taught my daughters about earning and saving money and the responsibility of a job — you’ve got to show up even when you don’t feel like it. (many of us struggle with that eh?)
And with that paper route our family made some new and dear friends who have become important parts of our lives. That’s a by product that I never thought of previously. And as disciples seeking to make disciples we need to meet new people. Our work, our leisure activities and even random occurrences all add up to opportunities to connect with new people and some of those people will likely connect with Jesus through us!
Both girls did great with their paper routes. They seldom complained about having to do papers and often did it on their own. Some days my wife or I join in on the route. It’s turned out to be great time spent with them. No giant accomplishments, no big agendas, jus a time to hang out, talk, work together and enjoy our great kids.
One day I was with our first paper delivering daughter on her route and enjoying the brisk yet sunny walk. We were chatting and joking around. It occurred to me that if we hadn’t let her take on this new endeavour we wouldn’t have this particular time with her. It’s a new thing with a great benefit. Glad we didn’t miss this new opportunity. Time together, especially unplanned time is a real opportunity for who we are to shine through. And if we are disciples who love Jesus that can be powerfully shown in our unplanned everyday life.
Interesting word, what does new mean to you?
Is it the loss or death of something old? Is it the freshness of starting or changing something?
I think new as a word can be threatening. Some of us thrive in the place of tradition, status quo, patterns, habits and comfy places. That’s not all bad. Tradition can be a wonderful thing. Things we are good at can be a place of serving, growing and affirmation. But we can miss some interesting moments and more if we flee the new.
Do we rely too much on tradition, habit or comfort? Are we afraid to try something new?
I was thinking of all the fun I’ve had trying something new over the years. Okay, not always fun as I turned out to be bad at some of the stuff or I failed. Fear of failure holds us back a lot of the time. (We’ll talk about that more in a future post)
But if you don’t try you won’t succeed either!
Is there something you’d really like to try?
A dream you have of how you could reach out
A ministry you want to switch to?
A hobby or art or skill you’d like to attempt
What do you dream about doing?
Trying new things gives you a chance to exercise your God-given creativity. That is an important part of you as a disciple.
I tried to list a variety of things I’ve tried. And I’m an introvert and fear failure as much as anyone. But I’ve tried a lot of stuff. And I’ve met new people, learned new skills and accomplished things I never thought I could do. And it has sometimes provided great opportunities to connect people with Christ.
I failed at some of these and succeeded at others so I’m not bragging. But saying if I can do stuff like this then you could too.
Here’s a partial list of things I’ve done:
interviewed celebrities and interesting people
comic book business
finalist on a reality TV show
travelled to a few far off destinations
pastored youth and adults
clown and magician
speaker for kids, high school students, college students and seminarians
married for almost 25 years to a wonderful, patient woman
have 3 great kids
balloon delivery business
leading retreats for families, youth, men
school bus driving
24-7 Prayer Coaching for Churches, Schools and individuals
commercial and voice work
spoken overseas with an interpreter (how cool was that!?)
led multiple mission and service trips in North America and overseas
emceed various events including weddings, banquets, figure skating show,
recorded and sold my own comedy DVD
experienced the presence of God and the joy of being in relationship with Him
So, again there were some great successes, some grand failures but a lot of fun and discovery along the way. And a way to draw yourself and others closer to God.
So, how about you? What have you done? What would you like to try? I’d love to hear about it!