The greatest killer of impossible dreams is our own inaction.
Society has taught us what the norm should be. What is acceptable, what is possible and what is impossible. Most people spend their entire lives living under guidelines that have been established by someone else decades ago. No one even understands why those guidelines exist in the first place, we just comply without question.
Get a job, work for someone else, under their rules, buy a house, have kids, establish roots, stay in one place and die without ever living.
The human spirit is a free spirit, God created us to live life to its fullest, moving about and discovering his beauty and connecting with others.
So it was with that thought in mind that my wife and I decided that we weren’t going to live by everyone else’s rules anymore. It was time for us to live our lives, not just exist.
I did quite a bit of traveling in early 2019 and through those trips, I had a revelation as to why my mother did the same thing starting in her late 40’s until her death at age 63 in 2005. You see, traveling down an open road and actually enjoying the journey brings a closeness to God like no other. I experienced that during my drives to Texas, Louisiana and Florida in 2019.
When I got home, I was refreshed, had a new perspective, and started writing again in a way that I hadn’t written in years. Then after a few weeks, got right back into the same grind. Please don’t misunderstand, that grind was a grind that I loved. It was teaching leadership skills and life lessons to kids through sports, which is pretty special work and I was blessed to have the opportunity to do it for 30 years of my life.
As the months went on though, I would keep getting little reminders of my trip and of my mother, which quite frankly, were like one in the same. I kept asking myself, “Is there more?” But, more of what? Then the questions seemed to become statements, “Is there more” turned into, “There is more” and “You can do more.”
What was this, was it my voice, my ego or something else? Was it actually the voice of God? Was I losing my mind? What was going on? I was trying to figure it out, but the reminders and the signs and the voice and thoughts didn’t stop. As a matter of fact, they became more prevalent and it was more evident that I was being called to get out of my comfort zone.
While this battle was going on in my head, I was coming up with every reason and question as to why I couldn’t do this. My situation is different than what my Mom’s was when she did this. What would happen with the nonprofit organization that I had built and put 30 years of blood, sweat and tears into? Who would make sure that those kids were going to be taken care of? How would my wife react? Would she be all in? How could we possibly afford to do this?
In order to answer those questions, I had to start taking some action. I had to take the first step. That first step was to have the conversation with my wife. My wife is a little bit more conservative than I am and isn’t one to take as many risks as what I tend to do. The conversation went pretty much as I expected it to. She thought that I had completely lost my mind. So I prayed. Simply asking, “Lord, not my will, but your will be done. If this is the path that you want us on, I need for you to tell Sandy, just as you told me.”
Most people who don’t really know me think that I am a free spirited risk taker with no fear of failure. What they don’t realize is the internal battle that I go through in my mind before I ever make that decision to take the risk. The battlefield in my mind as I internalize everything is ugly and full of scars. The prayer, the conversations with God and trusting that it is Him and not me is a constant struggle that I go through alone long before I ever bring an idea to the table.
Even Sandy many times feels as though some of my ideas are knee jerk reactions that I am willing to just jump into, but they are far from that. They are painful decisions that I fight with on a constant basis before I am willing to let go and trust the Lord that even if this decision leads to hurt and vulnerability, that there are lessons that need to be learned and those lessons are all part of a greater journey that I do not understand today, but I need to take that first step. Then after that, I need to take the next step, and the next, and the next, and just keep having the faith to keep taking those steps and moving forward.
As Sandy had her own conversations and prayers with God, she too came around to the idea. We now had to continue to keep walking in faith together and moving forward. Even as we moved forward, we would sometimes have doubts and fear that we couldn’t do this.
Our next step was to tell our kids and grandkids. Again, it was met with mixed emotions and reactions, but eventually they all realized that we were actually serious and this wasn’t a phase that we were going through.
Each new step, each conversation with friends and family had its own full range of emotions and reactions from “That’s amazing!” to “Have you guys completely lost it?” and everything in between. I think that everyone that we had spoken to had their own doubts as to whether or not we were serious and would really follow through with it.
We kept telling everyone that we weren’t sure what the timing was. We’d put the house on the market sometime after the first of the year and then go from there depending on the time that it takes to sell the house.
The first of the year came and now it was time for us to take that next step in faith. Meet with the realtor. I know a lot of people in the real estate business and we didn’t want to offend anyone, so we decided to go completely out of our area and inquire with a company called DLP Reality based in the Lehigh Valley, which we did. We met with our agent, Cindy, and immediately had a comfort level with her, but we still told her that we just wanted to “…get some information and weren’t sure when we would get the house on the market, maybe March or April.”
A few days after we met with Cindy, Sandy and I had the conversation as to why were we actually waiting? What was the hesitation? Was this just our way of making sure that we were doing the right thing? Were we just entertaining our own doubts and fears and stalling?
After we talked about it, we decided that there was no need to hesitate, so I sent Cindy an email and we scheduled another appointment to actually come out and get the house listed. We took the next step, we had faith and trusted His voice.
We got all of the paperwork completed, photos taken, and sign in the yard. The house officially went on the market on February 5, 2020. We took the next step.
Earlier in the week, on Monday, February 3, 2020, we put money down on our new house on wheels. We took the next step.
Our new home.
In this life, we can always find the reasons why we shouldn’t do something. The risk is too great, no one has ever done this before, or what will other people think? However, life is full of risks every day and not taking those risks isn’t playing it safe, it is simply not living. The only regrets that we have at the end of our lives are the chances that we didn’t take. Failure is myth. There is no success without failure, no game was ever won without taking the shot or swinging the bat.
We have to throw ourselves out there to the lions and be vulnerable and willing to take the risk involved in order to be successful. Yes, we will get hurt, we will be scratched and bruised and battered and broken, but in the end we will have lived life to its fullest and trusted God’s plan for what we were meant to be and where we were meant to go.
Sandy and I don’t know exactly what the future holds for us or what God’s plan is for this next journey in an RV traveling across the country with our Golden Retriever, Youkilis, telling the stories of the many little people, in the many little places that we come across, but what we do know is that in order to start this journey, we had to take that first step.
The house is on the market and the down payment is on the RV. The rest is in His hands.