I was playing ultimate Frisbee tonight at our church picnic. There were lots of people there who had never played before, but it was a fun, competitive game. The game was tied 5 to 5 and I was running as much as a big guy like me can run. One of the new people threw the disc out in front of me. It was about calf high and about two steps outside of my reach. The ultimate Frisbee instinct in me kicked in and said, “I will have to dive to get that.” So I took one more step and even felt myself get ready for the jump.
That is when the thirty-five year old, 300 pound part of me started screaming, “YOU’RE GONNA DO WHAT! NOOOOOOOOOOO!” and I have to admit I listened to that voice and just pulled up and walked a few steps as I watched the disc glide to the ground just out of my reach.
It was sort of a wake up type moment for me. There was a time when I would have never thought twice about diving for that pass. Sure it would have hurt, but Ultimate is the one sport I have ever been some what good at and I was always willing to go all out to play. The fact that there was a hesitant part of me sort of shocked me.
If you look at it logically it makes sense. That dive was probably going to hurt. I mean the ground is hard and I am not and I might be still laying on the ground moaning if I would have gone for it.
But there is also a pretty good chance that I would have caught the disc. I don’t hurt right now, but I didn’t make the catch either.
When it comes to playing a game at a church picnic it is probably a good thing to listen to the voice of experience in your head that keeps you from diving after a flying piece of plastic. But I have met many people (and have been one of these people myself) who have stopped diving after stuff in their ministry as well.
Somewhere along the way as ministers each of us hits a place where we have been doing our job for a while and we feel pretty good about what we do and where we are. We can sort of hit cruise control and touch a few lives and be pretty happy with things. But from time to time there will come opportunities that are a little harder, a little more risky, but full of lots more reward. I believe in those times we can feel the Holy Spirit telling us to jump for it. We ready ourselves and even start to go for it when the voice of our practical “I’ve been doing this for years” voice yells out “NOOOOOOOOOO”
We start to look at all of the things that can go wrong and all of the ways that we might get hurt and we choose not to dive. The problem is that we end up missing opportunities much greater than simply not catching a Frisbee. We miss out on opportunities to tell others about the love of God. We miss opportunities to be a part of God’s plan to change the world.
So which voice are you listening too? The voice telling you to dive or the voice telling you to pull up. I think all of us who have been doing this for a while have at some point in time listened to both. Let me encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit and make that dive. You may be sore afterwards, but trust me it is the good kind of sore.