The late Brian Klemmer wrote a book called, “If How-To’s Were Enough, We Would all be Skinny, Rich and Happy.” Knowing how to do something, and actually doing that thing, are two very different beasts.
Think about your first kiss. You knew how to kiss. You knew that two people would do that awkward head tilt, close their eyes, and then press their lips together. All of that was in your brain.
However, the actual first kiss is an entirely different experience than what you know. My wife and I still laugh at our first bungled attempt at a kiss. Although since then, I’m happy to report, we have become quite proficient.
Living the Overboard Life can be the same thing. We know what we should do, but doing it is another issue entirely. Maybe for you the task seems entirely overwhelming, so you just plug along and hope you’ll find yourself overboard, soon.
Working out is like that for me. I know what I need to do, but actually getting out and doing it is the problem. In fact, it’s not even so much the doing, it’s having a program that I can follow that will help me stay on track. I love doing workout videos and being a part of group classes for this very reason -- it gives me a general plan to follow so that I can get the habit developed. Just going to the gym and “working out” doesn’t cut it for most people. That’s why “30 days to a leaner you” and “the 45 minutes workout for washboard abs” are all big sellers.
If you’re struggling to get overboard in your life, here are five ways you could make the plunge over the next 30 days. By intentionally making each of these activities a daily habit, you’ll soon find yourself stepping out in big ways, following Jesus!
- Spend time with God, every day: Seems like a no-brainer, right? Yet I know so many God followers who never spend time with God. Sometimes I get so caught up in what I’m doing that I forget to connect with HIm! It’s so easy to do. But if you want to live the Overboard Life, God has to be a regular part of your daily schedule. I recently interviewed a young woman who said, “I connect with God every morning before my feet hit the ground. I finish my day by chatting with Him before my head hits the pillow.” What a great life pattern!
- Be inspired every day: Let something, or someone, capture your imagination, every day. Yes, every day. There is so much to be captivated by, but we miss it because of our crazy lifestyles. I’ve been working on this a lot in my life lately, in fact, here are my last four days of inspiration:
- I was captivated by the science behind some running pants (it’s true!)
- I was struck by the joy of my seven year old daughter over something so small
- I spent 15 minutes reading about the interesting history of our local train station
- I played 4-square with 6 kids, and spent a lot of time laughing and having fun
- Help someone else achieve a goal or dream: Help someone else live Overboard. Each day I try to find a way to help my wife achieve her goals and dreams, even as I’m working on mine. Sometimes it’s as simple as heating up dinner, or taking the kids for a walk while she works. Other times it means sitting and brainstorming with her, or taking time to help her craft an email. I also like to call other people who are living Overboard, encouraging them through prayer or texts or coaching (if they ask for it). Whatever it is, a call, a note, and email, or a service project -- help others reach their goals.
- Be thankful. Take time every day to thank God, and to thank the people He has put in your life. My least favorite people to hang out with, our ungrateful Christians. After all, we should have the most to be thankful for, and the most for which to give heart felt, genuine and regular gratitude. Spend some time being intentionally thankful, and watch how your Overboard Life improves.
- Read a good book. Few things work more quickly to challenge your Overboard living, than reading a book. I have four quick recommendations. Read one of these over the next 30 days:
- “40 days to a Joy-Filled Life”: Ok, you’ll need to squeeze an extra ten days in there, but I think you can make it work. Tommy Newberry’s book is awesome, and worth reading if you want to experience life-changing joy.
- “Leadership and Self-Deception”: This is an outstanding book that will challenge you to think about how you view leadership, how you lead others, and how you are led. Very complex principles put into simple terms.
- “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”: Donald Miller’s book is fantastic, especially as it pertains to expanding your dreams and goals for God.
- “The Longing”: This is a new one to me, written by author/speaker/blogger/coach/dreamer Joey O’Conner. You can download it for free from his site, www.joeyo.org. The Longing will challenge you to pursue the one longing we all have -- a fulfilling, life-changing relationship with God.
So take this 30 day Overboard workout challenge and see what happens. It’s so easy to get comfortable in the boat, floating around “waiting” for the right opportunity to jump out and follow God. But Jesus is already on the water. He is already calling you and I to trust Him, and to grab the sides of the boat and jump -- to walk on water like Him! But the best life you can live isn’t found in the boat.
Go ahead and take the plunge…life is better on the water!