I am a product of the '90s. My childhood was filled with VHS movies, yo-yos, and Nintendo 64. Those were the days of Starter jackets, Airwalk shoes, JNCO jeans, and No Fear t-shirts. But the brand that dominated that decade more than any other was Nike. Virtually every '90s kid had a t-shirt with the Nike Swoosh and the famous tagline, "JUST DO IT."
It's such a simple phrase yet it's one of the most powerful taglines in the world. Just do it. I’m pretty sure that message made it beyond a t-shirt and into my subconscious, because I find myself living with a "just do it" mentality more often than not. I mean, if I go for it and fail then I'll end up in the same place as if I’d never tried at all. But on the other hand, if I go for it and succeed then I'll end up somewhere else, somewhere awesome.
One example of this is when I was in college and I discovered a passion for rock climbing. I spent a summer in Seattle, and that's what everyone does in Seattle. They drink coffee and climb rocks. So I became a rock climber. Shortly after I discovered this passion, I thought I'd try to make a career out of it. The only problem was I was not all that great at climbing. So I started emailing companies to see if they would sponsor me as an amateur rock climber. I got a few rejections, but one of them actually said yes. They put me on their "grassroots" team and sent me some free swag in the mail. I got a free pair of climbing shoes, stickers, a t-shirt, and some other random stuff. Clearly that wasn't enough to make a living, but I can now say that at one point in my life I was a sponsored rock climber.
Another example was about a year ago when I called a company that owns a massive, old church building in our area and asked them if they would give the building to my church. They said that it was for sale and that I could buy it for $2,000,000. I told them that I didn't have the money but that I would be happy to take it off their hands for free. They said no. So I emailed the president of the company. It's a big company, but I was able to track his email down. I sent him a proposal with the top 10 reasons why he should give me the building. He had his real estate agent call me and ask me to stop emailing him. So I did. For now. But who knows what may come out of it eventually.
The biggest “just do it” moment of my life so far was when I was trying to decide if I should quit my job, move my family, and plant a new church. We'd prayed about it. We felt called to it. But it was still a huge risk. There was a lot on the line, a lot to lose. Ultimately we decided to go for it, to "just do it,” and God honored that decision.
One of my favorite examples of the “just do it” mentality is Peter, the disciple of Jesus. Peter was always the guy to jump in and go for it. In Matthew 14 we read the story of how Peter and the other disciples saw Jesus walking on the water. They were scared. They thought Jesus was a ghost. But Peter decided to take a risk. He told Jesus to invite him out of the boat to walk on the water. Jesus did, and Peter climbed out of the boat. He actually did it. He walked on water. To this day, Peter is the only human being other than Jesus Christ to ever walk on water. Did he fail? Sure. But he also did something no one else has ever done.
At the end of the day, I want to live my life in a way that when I get to the end, there will be lots of great stories worth telling. Stories of success. Stories of failure. Stories of big risks and stories of God's faithfulness. Stories of walking on water and experiencing things everyone else thought was impossible. Those stories almost always have a “just do it” plot line to them.
So what about you? What are your favorite “just do it” moments? What’s your next one? What’s holding you back? There’s no better time than now to get out there and just do it!