Way to go, Ward!
I've also had the honor of singing the National Anthem for many events including an Atlanta Braves game in three-part harmony with two of my friends. I'm not one to get nervous in front of crowds doing what I know well, and music is definitely something I've done all of my life.
Singing for Jesus, proclaiming His greatness through song, vocally and/or instrumentally, using my natural born talent has always been second nature.
But, embarking on a new adventure, doing something that hasn't been the focus of my entire life? It can be exciting, but also nerve-wracking.
Knowing God began uncovering and igniting a new passion in my heart 14 years ago, puts a lump in my throat and sends chills down my spine. He's proven His faithfulness in all He's called me to do, and now He's calling me again.
The next step of faith is to write a book.
I said it.
I'm going to write a book.
Now I'm really nervous.
Although I have one Bible Study book self-published, and at least 10 editor articles published, non-fiction book writing is entirely different. I'm looking to throw out my first pitch ever between May 22 and 26, 2016 . I have a book idea to pitch to a publisher and I'm terrified of not making it to home plate, much less across home plate. This is something I do not know well.
My enemy rival keeps taunting me with doubts:
- What if your idea is dumb?
- What if no one will want to read it?
- Can you really commit to this?
- Are you sure you're called to do this book thing?
His confident Voice pours confidence into me, not mine, but His! There is a big difference.
Haven't you questioned your ability when God's called you to something bigger than yourself? I thought so. I know I'm not the only one who's wallowed in the pit of self-doubt. Many refer to it as The Moses Complex. And, since Moses and I have so much in common, it's natural that I would doubt just like he did.
After the pep talk from the Coach, just like Moses, I'm believing that God will do what He says He will do if I'll just trust what He's taught me in practice. I can't tell you how many times on my salvation journey that I've dropped back with mouth open, eyes the size of Texas, struck by awe and wonder at the power God displayed, just because I believed.
I'm gearing up for another awe moment. I'm very aware that I am nothing and can do nothing apart from Christ's love, His grace and His strength. I just need to prepare, practice, and be patient.
We all tread lightly up to the pitcher's mound sometimes doubting that Jesus really called us to a task. We question that it was even our name He called. Maybe we misunderstood Him, or maybe it's like when we think we hear our children or spouse calling our name and they aren't even home. It was just our imaginations.
Maybe I should run back to the dug out.
Or maybe I should just straighten my cap, hit my fist into my mitt, gird up my loins and walk out the bull pen with head held high, out to that mound in the strength and courage of the Lord.
We must learn to listen well and know the voice of God when He speaks to us. By practicing the art of listening, we learn how to remove any distractions that might interfere with our reception.
Focus on His Word. Spend time in prayer (without dominating the conversation), and be patient. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart, mind, and soul in His time.
Like young Samuel. Three times he heard God call his name, and each time he ran to Eli, the priest, thinking he had heard Eli's voice in the night. But after the third time, Eli, realizing that the Lord was calling Samuel's name. So he directed Samuel back to bed and instructed him in how to answer the next time God called his name by saying, "Speak, LORD, for your servant hears" (1 Samuel 3:9 ESV).
We must be ready with the same, "Speak, Lord, for your servant hears."
As I prepare for my first pitch, I will pray, practice listening, and a have a willing heart that's patient. I would love to throw a strike on the first pitch, nailing it like my friend, Denise, but I know that's not realistic. But, with God as my Coach, who knows? Anything's possible. He may amaze me again guiding my first pitch right down the middle.