Everyone wants to become the best version of themselves. People have a strong desire to live passionately, find their purpose and realize all the wonderful things God has created them for — so why do so few actually realize this type of life? Well, that’s because most people have forgotten the simple art of taking action.
“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” — James 2:26
Planning for Never: Oftentimes in our society, we are paralysed in a cycle of endless contemplation and abstraction rather than embracing our ideals and taking action. We are told to plan and prepare for a future, but we spend our whole lives avoiding that future. There is a compulsion to never act unless everything is perfect. But a theory can never be proven if it’s never tested. Life isn’t meant to only be lived in the supposition of our minds, but in real tangible actions. It doesn’t mean a person can’t exercise wisdom by making a plan, but it is far better to learn from experience rather than living in a constant theoretical state. Make a plan, but action is worth more than a theory.
Call to Action: Jesus constantly challenged people by asking them to take immediate action.
“Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.” — Mark 1:14–20
All these men later became champions of faith and advanced the Gospel around the world, but their first steps were when they left their nets and followed Jesus. Pure and simple action. They didn’t have a business plan from the Messiah or even a clue what tomorrow would bring, but they knew it was right. More often than not, when you ask any successful person their origin story they will trace it back to a leap of faith where they said in their heart, “let’s do this” and then they did. In everyone’s life it is important to have the “leave the nets moment” and follow something real. Where will yours take you?
Actions Open Up Possibilities: Actions lead you to new paths and different opportunities. Speaking from experience, when we first started our missionary journeys we never would have imagined a tv series and years of expeditions that laid ahead for us. But rather, we both felt the call and went on a one-year missionary journey by ourselves. We didn’t know what would happen or how things would turn out on that trip, but we knew it was right, so we took action. On that journey we hitchhiked and bartered our way through the third-world, preached the gospel in remote areas, learned to live on $500 a month including travel costs, and as a result we gained many life skills, grew in the Word of God and saw parts of the world few will ever see. Upon returning to the US after our first trip, a desire was born in us to encourage more people to go out and reach the unreached, and thus, the first concepts of Travel the Road were born. It would take us another 2 ½ years overseas and in production to bring the first tv series to broadcast, but sure enough, God opened a door and made it possible. We didn’t know how to edit or be filmmakers, but we learned because we acted. It goes to show you, that as you act on your faith, more paths will be revealed, new skills will be acquired, and opportunities will arise.
Action is Uncomfortable: The myth of our society is that the more comfort a person has — the more a person will be happy. Not true. People tend to become dull and unchallenged when they are comfortable. Moreover, they will act very immature when that comfort is taken away (spoiled) and resist any new action. The more you press your thresholds, the more you will see the possibilities of what you can achieve with a little faith and grit. Stop avoiding the discomfort (mentally or physically) and learn to take actions that will press you beyond yourself. Doing so will reveal that your mind tends to over exaggerate the feelings of discomfort, and soon you will discover a richer life of possibilities in every new action.
Action Makes the Unknown Known: Action clears up the questions you have. Can I succeed at this? Take action and you will find out. What is my calling? Take action on something and you will quickly see what you do and don’t like. The key is, your actions don’t always have to be a massive life changing event. As you practice small actions you will learn to take bigger ones as you gain knowledge. Life will become clearer and clearer as you act upon things and learn from your mistakes. Additionally, mistakes won’t be looked at like mistakes, but rather learning opportunities in the school of life. To know more you must act more. It’s rather exciting when you begin to look at action like a knowledge gaining tool no matter if you succeed or fall short. You win either way.
Start Small, Aim Big: If you are considering taking more action in your life, be wise. Unless it is an event like a “leave the nets” sort of thing, start small and aim big. If you are going to start a business, it doesn’t make sense to take out a $5 million dollar loan, when you could probably begin testing your theories with $3–4 thousands dollars on a smaller scale. By starting small, you will gain knowledge and you will be taking action at the same time. Likewise, if you think you are called to missionary work, don’t feel like you need to commit to a 3-year term in a remote village overseas, but rather, take a bunch of short-term mission trips and find out where the Lord is specifically leading you. People tend to think they should have every answer before they take any action. Sorry, doesn’t work that way. That’s why it’s called a leap of faith. If you want answers, start taking small actions. Aim big and watch the world bloom with opportunities.