So… I have this friend. We’ll call her “Jill.” She has – several times over the last few years – gotten me to do things I had no interest in doing. I could despise her. But instead, I love her all the more!
A couple of examples:
Several years ago, I planned a sledding outing for the youth group kids at my church. I had every intention of being the photographer and snack lady while everyone else went up and down the hill. (I’ve had an irrational fear of going downhill with anything other than my own feet or a car for as long as I can remember… Bikes? Ick. Rollerblades? Absolutely not! Skis? Ahhh. #$&& no! Even sleds… Not so much.) But Jill, her hubby, and their kids cheered me on til I gave it a try… And I loved it (screaming and laughing all the way down the hill)! I even bought sleds for my hubby and I that Christmas!
Another time, we took the youth group kids to the Mall of America to spend the afternoon at the amusement park within the mall. We rode every roller coaster and ride we could, multiple times, and had a great day! Then, it was dinner time and we decided to try the new “cowboy” restaurant… Which just happened to have an electric bull. Yep. You guessed it. I had no interest in doing it myself, but was more than willing to cheer on the other adults! (I am the klutziest, most uncoordinated and ungraceful person I know. This was not going to be pretty if I tried…) And yet. I was convinced to give it a go! Ha! Those things are not easy (just to get on it was a trick!). But I tried – and it was so fun!
And tonight. We went out to celebrate a dear friend and co-worker as she bids farewell to move home to Alabama – and we let her decide where we would go for the evening. Jennifer is the queen of competition and chose a bar that had a spelling bee. (Have you ever heard of such a thing?! Hilarious.) So a bunch of us went – I was planning to do what I do best. Cheer her on! But nooooo… Once again, Jill convinced us all to do it! You don’t get to just write down the words and turn in your answers… Oh no. You have to get up on stage like a real spelling bee and spell for the whole room! Oh no. I went into panic mode. (I have no problem giving a sermon to 150 people – talking about personal things like faith and life experience… But a spelling bee?! In front of strangers?! Good grief.) I did it. And had FUN. And made it to the fourth round. Huh…!
I’m sure there’s been lots of other things she’s gotten me to do, too. She’s a fun-natured, spirited, lovely, dear, slightly crazy person that I adore. And she’s opened up my world to all kinds of silly adventures – and I love her for it.
Why do we stop ourselves from trying new, silly things? I think I always assume I’ll screw up, look bad, make a fool of myself, yada yada yada. But really. Who cares?! I’m good at laughing at myself – I’ve perfected that art. So, why not?
When I feel the urge to say, “No, thanks. I’ll cheer you on.” I’ve got to remember to think of Jill. Life’s too short to not participate. Bring on the fun!
Do you have a “Jill?” Someone who inspires you to take big – and small – risks? Are you good at jumping in? Or do you hold back? I’d love to hear your stories!
Have a great weekend – and try something new!