Last week, my family and I had the privilege to go and hear Michael Hyatt, former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, speak at Biola University. He shared a story with his audience that I would like to encourage you with.
A friend of Mr. Hyatt, who is an expert snow skier, invited him to join him on the slopes. Because Mr. Hyatt was a beginner skier, he agreed that he would stay on the green slopes/bunny slopes. As they entered the ski lifts, he noticed that he was going higher and higher up the mountain. When they got off the ski lift, he asked his friend where the beginner slopes were. His friend said jokingly, “Oh, I thought they were up here.” When Mr. Hyatt asked his friend how he was going to get down the mountain, his friend gave him the news that he had to ski down. The advice that Mr. Hyatt’s friend gave him next is what I want to share with you. His friend said, “You will be tempted to lean back as you attempt to ski down the mountain – but you have to fight that temptation and lean forward instead.” His friend went on to say, “You will fall down - but you will fall down less if you lean forward.”
Mr. Hyatt used this advice from his friend to encourage us to do the same in life.
Many times our fears stop us from all that God wants to do in our life. Many of us have a natural reaction to lean back. But instead, may I encourage you to lean forward? What in your life has God been encouraging you to do?
What does leaning forward look like to you? For me, leaning forward was taking the step to write a book, A Stroke of Love, and having it published. My private nature was calling me to lean back. Being vulnerable was not easy, but by the grace of God and the encouragement of family and friends, my desire to honor God causes me to lean forward - which I am learning to do day by day.
Leaning forward doesn’t always mean to say yes, it may mean to say no. Maybe leaning forward for you is saying no to new opportunities that you always are tempted to say yes to. Perhaps that extra activity in your life is compromising your commitment to your family. Maybe God is encouraging you to do what does not come naturally but by taking the time for yourself and your home, God can richly bless your family with unity and strength. Or perhaps the opposite for you may be true. Maybe leaning forward for you is to say yes to new opportunities that you normally and naturally say no to.
I don’t know what leaning forward looks like to you, but I can assure you of this, following God’s lead will always be the best adventure and journey you have ever had.
Let God take you to HIS highest level designed just for you – and when He does – lean forward!
“The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:19