This is an IDC Project guest post written by a good friend of ours, Chris Peek. Chris is a writer, blogger, and video producer and editor. He is also a photographer, outdoor enthusiast, and hiker. He is offering encouragement and principles for living intentionally and is helping others become fully alive. Connect with him on his blog, Trail Reflections, or follow him on Twitter. If you want to share your own IDC in your own IDC post, click here.
“The resistance would like you to curl up in a corner, avoid all threats, take no risks, and hide. It feels safe after all. The paradox is the more you hide, the riskier it is.” –Seth Godin
Normally, I have a hard time going up to strangers and introducing myself. I much prefer to be introduced. That’s the way I’m wired; it’s my “safe” zone.
Let me back up a bit and fill in a couple of major details. My wife Karen was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2008 that prevents her from living as active of a life as she once did when we were first married. In the past, I leaned on her be my “initiator” in new places far too often. Granted, I’m content to know a couple of people in public settings and to even sit alone if she’s unable to attend. That doesn’t bother me. Yet, my perceived inability to connect with new faces without her by my side has been a source of my own frustration.
Recently, a married couple about our age and whom I’ve seen several times happened to sit on my row at church. I’ve never spoken to them, so I decided, “what the heck. If I’m going challenge others to be intentional about life through my writing, then I have to act it out in my own life.” Ironically, our pastor’s sermon that particular Sunday was based on his series titled “Life Together.”
After the service, my lizard brain kicked into gear. “What are they going to think about you? What if they reject you?” After briefly hesitating for two seconds, I bucked the self-deprecation, stepped over, and introduced myself. Immediately, all my fears subsided, as their genuineness and friendliness quickly came to light. We spoke for about ten minutes, getting to know a bit of each other’s stories. They even invited me to their Bible study class. I took another chance and attended, meeting a couple of other new people as well.
Now, I choose to build zero expectations one way or another that anything will result from these interactions, but I realize that we never know where one connection will lead. Maybe I can help them in some way in the future. Maybe a friendship will develop. Maybe nothing more will result other than the fact that we all experienced a better day because our paths crossed.
More importantly, I did something WAY out of my comfort zone and lived to tell about it. I’m continuing to recognize that when a thought comes into my head and my lizard brain urges me to flee, I should usually just go ahead and turn the thought into action. Living an intentional life is never an easy route and often involves a regular dose of courage in order to overcome the resistance. It’s a choice that we must make again and again, made one step at a time within these small, everyday moments.
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