“Easy for you,” I told my inner self, as I stood in front of a group of 300 women at a retreat where I was the weekend speaker. I had been talking about the importance of letting go, having fun, giving in to the playful side, fulfilling a long-held goal, taking a risk. I realized I had done all of those things in my life so it was no big deal for me to speak about them openly to others. But maybe it wasn’t so easy for some of them to take a brave step in their lives. So I decided to offer an opportunity for volunteers to declare the one thing they’d always wanted to do but had not yet done.
One young woman stood up and said she longs to sing in front of people. She has held back because of fear and shyness. That day she declared in front of 299 other women that she would start vocal lessons and join a community choral group. The room erupted in applause. And she and her mother, sitting next to her, burst into happy tears and hugs. The singer within had been set free.
Next, a mother of three adult children raised her hand. “I’m dying to fly a plane,” she said. “I’ve had this dream in my heart for twenty years.”
“Go for it.”
“You can do it.”
Women called out their encouragement and once again people clapped and shouted and laughed with joy.
After the break, the same woman approached me smiling. “I’ve just called a pilot training school in my area,” she said, clasping her hands together. “I’m so excited. I’m going to enroll in a program that begins next month. I’m shaking just thinking about it.”
I was teary with happiness for her.
During the late morning session, someone called out to me, “What’s your next goal? What fun thing do you want to do that you’ve never done before?”
I didn’t expect that. I had to think about it for a moment. I had hiked to the top of Mount Whitney. I had become a published writer. I had learned to ice skate. I knew how to swim, row a boat, pedal a bike, and speak in public without being scared. What was left?
I looked around for a moment while the women egged me on to share one thing I hadn’t done before that I really wanted to do. And it had to be fun. I turned to the women’s band behind me and suddenly it hit me.
“I’d love to play the drums.”
I had so enjoyed watching the female drummer during worship time. She put her heart and soul into her art. It looked like fun to me.
Everyone cheered me on. Later we broke for lunch. I stayed behind to speak with the drummer. “I’d like to surprise the ladies when we return from lunch by playing the drums during one song. Would you be okay with that? Would you teach me what to do?” My heart pounded so loud I thought the sound would overwhelm even the drums.
“Absolutely,” she said smiling broadly. “Meet me back here twenty minutes before the afternoon session begins.”
And so I did. I took my very first drum lesson that day. Then we opened the meeting with worship and I stepped up to the drums. The band played, “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know,” to a beat I could keep up with. At first I was a jumble of hands and feet, sticks and pedals, but soon I got the hang of it and I made it all the way through to the last beat. I breathed a sigh of relief and the women stood up and cheered.
I had declared my desire. I took a risk. I followed it through. And I had FUN! I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
If I can live a new dream, so can you. You can do that thing you’ve always wanted to do—and have fun doing it. Decide what it is and then get going! And let me know what happens.
Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things (Matt. 25:23).
What have you always wanted to do? Please share.