The First Move in God’s Playbook for Success

I relished those first few years in the executive suite. Confident. Bold. That’s the image I wanted to project.

But soon enough, the glimmer wore off, and I was faced with the daunting realization that everyone expected me to make some tough decisions, and to get them right.

Owning that took some getting used to.

When it came time to actually make those big decisions, I would frequently have second thoughts. “Do you really know what you are doing?” That’s what I would ask myself on the way home from work, or waking up at night in a cold sweat. “Who do you think you are? I’ll tell you who you are, you are a big loser trying to fake everyone out with your all your fancy business plans. They are on to you, boy!”

Those same thoughts crossed my mind as I drove past the construction site of an enormously expensive project that I had recently launched – a project I had wrestled with for three years before convincing the Board that it would provide a superior return for the investors.

But sitting in my car watching the steel going up, I suddenly felt a lump in my stomach. “Dear Lord in heaven, what have I done?” I gripped the steering wheel with white-knuckles as the friendly construction workers smiled and waved at me.

In moments like this, it helps to step back, to gain some perspective. I often turn to my journal writing, and let it all out in a flurry of pleas to God, followed by a good deal of man-to-man straight-talk. It calms me down.

A few months later, I’ll read those escalating crazy-man thoughts, and chuckle. “Ha Ha, wasn’t that funny how I got so worked up over that little thing! Oh, ye of little faith! Sheesh!”

In hindsight, it is obvious that any dummy could have seen God was present. Everything worked out just fine, even though it was a little touch and go for a while.

I think about the Woody Allen quote that says “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” That’s all God wants from me, is to just show up every day and do my job – at home, at work, with my kids.

If I’m doing it right, if I’m stepping out in faith and taking calculated risks once in a while, there may be times when it does indeed feel crazy. But like they say, God can’t steer a parked car. We may fumble around for a while and bump into things, but He’s got to start somewhere.

I’ll bet that in God’s playbook, one hundred percent of success is in just showing up.

To be honest, some days that’s barely all we can manage. But, really, what other choice do we have? We wake up, turn over in bed, and sooner or later we have to get up and start moving around. That’s when the Holy Spirit can sneak in and start doing some good work. He can prod and push us, nudging us along, a little at a time. “So, now that you’re up, why not make that phone call?” he might ask, in a cheerful, encouraging voice. “You also might as well go and start that new project you’ve been thinking about. And it wouldn’t hurt to organize that meeting you’ve had on that list for a while.”

A little at a time. Things start getting mobilized. And before you know it, God is doing something in your life that you didn’t even expect.

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