I was a sixteen-year-old junior at Buford High School, and it was the week after the homecoming football game in the fall of 1994. The previous Friday night, I’d gone to the game with my best friend, girlfriend, and another girl I wasn’t interested in–to be fair–I think the feeling was mutual.
We arrived at the stadium a little late, and the stands were packed that night. As we made our way through the crowd, my buddy’s girlfriend noticed a group of her friends near the top of the bleachers, and they waved for us to come to sit with them.
After climbing the steps and finding a space on the bench, we sat down and starting talking. I knew my buddy’s girlfriend, but I didn’t know the other girls there. So we started talking and cutting up the way teenagers do, and without realizing it, I soon found myself in a conversation with Sarah.
She was petite, with dark, almost black hair, beautiful brown eyes that seemed mysterious in a way that threw me off guard, and she was dressed in a t-shirt and faded jeans with Chucks (Converse Chuck Taylor’s.) We had a great time at the game, but apart from my conversation with Sarah, the rest of the night was pretty uneventful. I don’t even remember who won the game that night.
The following Monday, I was sitting with my friends at lunch, and my buddy told me that Sarah had asked his girlfriend about me after we left the game. He was nonchalant about it, but I’ll never forget his words. He said,
“You know that girl with the long, straight, dark hair . . . pretty short . . . t-shirt, jeans, and Chucks? Well, apparently, she thinks you’re adorable.”
That was all it took. I knew exactly who he was talking about, and after finding out she thought I was “adorable,” I couldn’t stop thinking about her. All day, every day, for the rest of that week, I thought about approaching her, asking her out, asking for her phone number, or just saying hello. I was nervous and excited at the same time, but I was also terrified of rejection. What if she said no? I’d be crushed and beyond embarrassed as an upperclassman being told to take a hike by a freshman.
Friday morning rolled around just like it does every week. I knew it would be my last shot before the weekend, and I also knew I needed to take action before she lost interest. I was never all that cool or smooth in social settings, but on that fateful afternoon, I mustered up a great deal of both of those resources.
The bell had just rung, signaling the end of the school day, and everyone was being dismissed from their final classes of the week. As I rounded the corner, she stood at her locker, putting her books away before going home. I took a deep breath and made my stealthy approach on the opposite side of the metal locker door so she couldn’t see me. I waited patiently for her to finish, leaning against the locker next to hers.
This was my moment of action. I’d been rehearsing where I would stand and what I would say all week long, and the time had finally come to take action. All of the thinking, planning, deliberating and stressing were over. It was time to be decisive and make my move.
She lifted her backpack from the floor, and I saw her hand reach for the edge of the locker door. It was as if time slowed down for a brief moment as the cold steel door of the locker swung closed, revealing my presence. Our eyes met, and we both smiled: it was now or never. Then, just like I’d rehearsed time and time again in my mind, the words rolled from my lips. “So . . . you think I’m adorable?” We both started laughing, and I got her phone number that afternoon.
The rest is history, an amazing history.
We courted and dated for the next five years before getting married when I was twenty-one years old, and she was nineteen. Now I know that it isn’t the right path for a lot of people to marry their first love and spend the rest of their life with that person. But for us, it’s worked out well. This year we’ll celebrate twenty-two years of marriage, and I can honestly say that we’re still very much in love.
But I often wonder what I might have missed if I had not taken decisive action that Friday afternoon as a nervous and awkward teenaged boy. One decision expressed in a simple step of action completely changed the trajectory of my life in a very positive way.
I’m afraid many men have dreams that never come true because they never take action. It’s not that they don’t have a strong desire. They want it, but they never really go after it. They lack the drive and ambition to be decisive and take the necessary action to see their dreams come true.
Pablo Picasso said,
“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
Henry David Thoreau stated,
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”
I have found that one of the greatest differences between a life of quiet desperation that’s going nowhere and a life that’s thriving with progress is the ability to take action. Do something!
Take action. Being a decisive “doer” is a biblical principle. Listen to the words of James 1:22-25 (KJV):
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
The same action necessary to accomplish a life lived in obedience and faith to the word of God is the same action that’s necessary to see the virtuous dreams and visions God puts into a man’s heart become a reality in his life.
Goals won’t just accomplish themselves if a man continues to dream but never does anything about it. No one wants to look back over their lives years from now, wondering what could have been. But, trust me, the pain of regret is far greater than the pain of rejection.
Let me ask you something. What is it you want out of life right now? Is there something that’s always on your mind that you haven’t accomplished or obtained?
Stop merely thinking about it, and do something. Take action!
Josh attended seminary through Rock of Ages Baptist Bible Institute out of Cleveland, TN. He has held about every position one could hold in a local church: Sunday school teacher, Children’s Church Preacher, Bus Ministry Director/Worker, Missions Director, Choir Director, Song Leader, Janitor, etc. In October of 2005, he was ordained as an Assistant Pastor at Rest Haven Baptist Church, and that’s where he served until God called him into the Pastorate at Enon Baptist Church in Alto, GA at the age of 32. He stepped out by faith in obedience to God’s instructions and quickly received a call from Blessed Hope Baptist Church in Free Home, GA where he now serves as Pastor. In his free time, Josh enjoys spending quality time with his wife (who is his high school sweetheart) and three children: Zoey, Ava, and Jack, as well as reading, writing, hunting, cooking, weight lifting, and martial arts.