Shanon, the friend I mentioned in “Do it afraid,” inspired me and others in many ways. He was caring, intelligent, and contagiously passionate. He enjoyed the moment immensely yet operated with the big picture in mind. When the opportunity arose, he chose the road less taken and left a stable, successful career for life-giving mission work overseas. As he prepared to go, he said something that still serves as a guide, “Instead of looking for reasons not to, I think we should be asking why not? It’s time to stop navel gazing.”
Though he did not get to stay long due a serious illness, he continued making life about something bigger than himself. While he was receiving treatment, he met and encouraged people in all areas of his life. Because he listened so well, he heard a recurring need for clean water and started The Living Water Project. Why not? Of the many problems in the world, he recognized this one as solvable. 18 years later, the effort he started has committed $1 million to clean water projects in 23 countries!
Since that conversation in 2000, the “why not paradigm” has led me to do many things I would naturally resist because I am drawn to peace, predictability and productivity. Shanon’s example inspired me to first move across country and then the world to live out my faith. Most recently, it encouraged me to find a way to add value to people through coaching despite my SC personality.
Where is the spirit nudging you to break out of your comfort zone? Why not take one small step today?