Go. Set. Ready.

Written by Amber -

Chad and I are generally "plan it well in advance" type of people. However, after a Tuesday night phone call with our dear friends in Alabama, we found ourselves in the car Thursday morning en route to Tuscaloosa from Wisconsin.

I believe in making wise, prayerful decisions and this one was no exception, even though the turnaround was quick. I'll be honest though, Chad and I fought hard against the idea of such spontaneity as we laid all the options out on the table, thought about pros & cons, looked at our budget, weighed the responsibilities we already had lined up and even consulted another friend for advice. After asking God what he thought about our quick, unplanned trip to AL, we just couldn't kick the thought of spending priceless time with Jacob and Ashlee for the weekend. God's answer to both of us was a simple, yet profound, "Go." 

We only met Jacob and Ashlee Tucker last January, but it feels like a lifetime ago. We had an instant bond from the moment we first crossed paths at a conference in Atlanta (Passion 2013). Since then, we've been encouraging each other in life, love and faith whenever possible—so much so, that I can't imagine the last year without them. Text messages, emails, phone calls and video chats only go so far with friends like these. Our four in-person visits (including a week-long mission trip together) apparently weren't enough either... God had a fifth divine appointment for us this weekend, and to our surprise, it included tickets to the very place we met last year as a bonus—Passion 2014 in Atlanta.

I can't even put into words the amazing weekend we ended up having! If we had given in to our logical, practical selves, we would have completely missed the gifts God had lined up for the four of us. Friendship—deep, true, genuine, life-giving friendship—is such a blessing. I pray every person reading this has (or finds, ASAP) friends like this. Why? Because we never plan for life to get "messy," yet it does anyway. Whether facing big decisions, dreaming new dreams, dealing with stress, or managing pain, it's in those very times we need like-minded friends to walk alongside us. Never underestimate the power of a shoulder to cry on, a motivating "kick in the pants," the sharing of varying perspectives, deep belly laughter, or advice & encouraging words from friends. Even when you don't think you need it and you feel fine, you leave feeling refreshed and ready to face the world again. And this weekend, we did—all four of us.

Ashlee read with us a chunk out of a devotional she's studying right now called "Draw the Circle" by Mark Batterson. I can't help but share a few sections of it with you:

You'll never be ready to get married. You'll never be ready to have kids. You'll never be ready to start a business or go back to school or move to the mission field. You'll never be ready financially, emotionally, or spiritually. You'll never have enough faith, enough cash, or enough courage. And if you are looking for an excuse, you will always find one. ...If you wait until you're ready, you'll be waiting for the rest of your life. ...

There is an old adage: ready, set, go. And I know it's predicated on the importance of preparation. But I think it's backward. You'll never be ready. You'll ever be set. Sometimes you just need to go for it. The sequence of faith is this: Go. Set. Ready.

Some people spend their entire lives getting ready for what God wants them to do , but they never end up doing it because they never come to the realization that they'll never be ready. This is where so many of us get stuck. ...

...But who can calculate the opportunity costs when we ignore the promptings of the Spirit, thereby missing divine appointments? Faith is not faith until it is acted on.

Go. Set. Ready.


UPDATE: January 22, 2014
Upon more consideration of the thoughts in this post and specifically my usage of the word, "spontaneity," I wrote a little in my journal this morning. Wanted to share this additional insight. "Were we actually being spontaneous? Well, not really. When you receive a directive from the Lord, no matter how little time is involved, choosing to do it is merely 'obedience,' not 'spontaneity.' Even though it was not originally part of my plan, it was a part of God's plan."