The best way to avoid getting punched is to avoid fights. If, however, you find yourself in a fight, the best thing to do is avoid getting hit. You could put your hands up, duck, or run. If that doesn’t work, perhaps you should try a different approach. Maybe you could fight back, scream, kick, or poke. How about when life seems to be punching you around! If God reaches down from Heaven and gives you a little whack, maybe it’s time to do something different. This happened to me recently.
I had already decided to start the Dr. Thrift brand. Ms. Thrift and I had developed a game plan for how I would begin teaching people to live a thrifty lifestyle. We decided to start by launching a website and blog. I began studying content management systems, hosting companies, etc. I wanted it to be perfect.
At the time, I was reading a book by Jon Acuff titled Quitter. The book chronicled how Mr. Acuff went from his day job to his dream job. He argued each of us has a calling and we should move towards what we really want to be doing. This book was exactly what I needed. I wanted practical advice for building my brand from someone who had already done it. Mr. Acuff had started a blog titled Stuff Christians Like and was now able to quit his day job and become an author, speaker, and professional blogger. The last chapter punched me in the face. Mr. Acuff argued not to quit your day job until you have proven your dream job. He points out you can’t begin to prove your dream job unless you actually start. Who cares how good or bad you are? When you start, nobody even knows you exist. You will probably be much better at it by the time people notice you.
I picked a hosting company, purchased an account, installed the software, and downloaded a theme. Unfortunately, I hated the way it looked. I returned to the drawing board and began looking for ways to make it better. I had started but not really. God decided to punch me a little harder with a combination of punches. During a long drive home from a friend’s graduation, I switched from the satellite radio to my iPod. The first punch came on the third song.
A sweet, soft voice began by singing, “You can spend your whole life building, something from nothin’, one storm can come and blow it all away, build it anyway”. Martina McBride was signing her song “Anyway”. The song continued with “dream it… do it… believe it… love ‘em … [and] sing it anyway”. If the song had another verse, it might have been, “You can wait till your site is perfect, to write that first post, only to find you’ll never see that day, write it anyway.” Maybe not but that is how I interpreted the song. I was being hit with a wake-up call. The message, get to work! God felt it necessary to repeat the message with another punch only minutes later.
After a few more songs, I switched to an audiobook I had downloaded. Zig Ziglar was reading his book Better Than Good. He started with a message on being passionate. I had decided what I wanted to do and was working on making that dream a reality. I had created a rough draft of my site and was waiting until it was perfect to write my first post. I had passion. I just wasn’t following through with my passion like I should. Mr. Ziglar gave an example of how author Debbie Macomber found her passion for being a novelist. He quotes Macomber as saying, “It seemed as if God was saying to me that I could no longer push my dreams into the future, which I had done for years, with a long list of excuses and justifications. I was one of those people who was going to do it when”. The death of her cousin convinced Macomber “later doesn’t always come”. Macomber realized dreams come from God and if we faithfully do what God wants us to do, our dreams will come true. The punch landed square on the chin when I heard Zig say, “[Macomber] fought the battle of balance as many people do and trying to fit in one more thing seemed counterproductive but she did it anyway ”.
Did you notice the consistent message? Martina McBride sang “do it anyway”. Zig followed that with “she did it anyway”. It was then I realized, maybe, just maybe, I should consider getting started immediately. Right then I made the decision to not get punched again. So, here is my first blog post. It’s completed. I have started. I have turned faithfully to what I feel God is calling me to do, to teach others to thrive in life by adopting the merits of living a thrifty lifestyle. Part of that calling entails encouraging others to live their dreams. Wherever you are in life, I hope this post encourages you to start whatever it is you have been putting off.