I can’t tell you how many times as a youth pastor, I led games among a group of teenagers. Some were goofy. Others were just plain dumb. Then, there were the favorites. Among these, Ultimate Frisbee was always a winner. Any size group could play, and all you had to do was be able to toss a Frisbee a few feet. There was only one problem.
They wouldn’t throw the darn Frisbee!
If you don’t know the game, it’s simple. You can’t move with the Frisbee in hand; you must throw it to a teammate. You score a point if you can pass it successfully across the line at the other end of the field. If it ever hits the ground, the other team gets it right there. Thus, the game favors short, quick throws. Keep the thing moving, and you will succeed.
Inevitably, there was always that one student who would catch a pass and become completely indecisive. They would look and pivot, but too afraid to mess up, they would hesitate. Several defenders would hurredly crowd around them making the pass impossible. Despite my instructions, it happened every time.
Inaction always led to failure.
This was a similar lesson I learned writing The Chase. I am a planner. I plan everything. My plans have plans. However, I found that writing a story was a fluid process. I needed a basic idea of where I was going, but the best parts of the story wrote themselves as I simply “tossed” the plot to the next scene and allowed it to develop. Sometimes, I would get caught up in writing and chapters I never knew existed would suddenly appear on the page.
The problems would come when I got caught up in the importance of a plot development to the point that I would stop writing. I would stare at the screen and wonder where to go. The longer I sat there, the more I became concerned that I was doing the right thing. I was terrified that I would write something that didn’t work or sounded dumb. Sometimes, an hour or more would pass without a word being written, and I would be forced to pack up my laptop and head home.
Remember: inaction always leads to failure.
In time, I discovered that one of the best ways to conquer writer’s block is to write. Just put something on the page. You can always change it up later. Just write.
Whether Ultimate Frisbee or writer’s block, I believe these both to be an appropriate metaphor for life. I’ve met too many people paralyzed by the notion that they may be doing the wrong thing. They are so concerned with “God’s will” for their life, that they sit on their hands waiting for some epiphany that will make them feel totally confident they are doing what God wants. They stand, holding the proverbial Frisbee or staring at the proverbial screen, and the worry and anxiety of failure quickly surrounds them, deepening their indecision.
Rather, I wonder if we could content ourselves to do what we know, and move forward until God reveals the unknown. Whether it is who to marry, where to go to college, or what job to take, we all have things we want God to reveal to us. We want His wisdom on the big decisions. However, there are plenty of things we know. He tells us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He tells us to love others, bear their burdens, and spur them to good works. He reminds us to forgive, show mercy, and protect the helpless. Could it be that the rest of the “will of God” is best found as we participate in the things He’s already willed us to do?
Friend, are you eagerly awaiting some answer from the Lord? Is there a decision or choice you wish He’d clarify? Spend today doing something you know pleases Him. Do good to others. And perhaps, just perhaps, the mysterious answer you are looking for will become known on the path of loving God and others.
Throw the Frisbee.