Two weeks ago I attended an evening seminar at church about becoming more self-reliant. I don’t know what I was expecting—emergency preparedness? food storage tips?
A good deal of the seminar focused on having us ponder and trust in personal direction we received via the Holy Ghost. That might not be a concept everyone is familiar with, but it’s quite usual for me. I gamely trusted, pondered, and received inspiration. Though I knew it was a bit scary, I acted on the prompting to join the Starting and Growing a Small Business class.
I’ve actually run a small business before. I taught dance classes and art classes in my home, so I’m not totally uninitiated.
This program is like a church class, but we discuss temporal as well as spiritual matters. We meet each week at our facilitator’s home and follow the prescribed lesson in the book—reading, discussing, watching the accompanying videos. We make commitments for the week, including making contact with our “action partner” (cheerleader/mentor/commiserator-oh-wait-no-not-that). The following week we report on our success.
I did so-so on my first week’s commitments—still getting my feet wet (naturally I did great at writing in my business notebook because I like to write and make plans). I’m committed to doing better this week. I made it through last week’s, “How did I end up here—I know, I followed inspiration. I fail at everything—well, maybe I won’t this time, but if I do at least I’m used to it. I want to quit—but I’m not going to” phase(s). In fact, about half of our group didn’t show up last night, so I’m almost proud of myself for not quitting.
That small gold star on my forehead is part of what’s seeing me through the Second Week Blues. You name it, I’ve thought of it—all the reasons why this is impossible and I’m doomed to fail. (Nice to have a lot of self-confidence, eh?) And that’s only since last night!
I figure week two is probably the right time to be having all these feelings. Willard Wall, my dad and the Business Administration Guru-of-all-gurus, would call this being in a state of Cognitive Dissonance—in other words, conducting a postmortem on your decision. My sister Terri once told me the difficulty in making decisions is that you have to kill all your options (root words de + caedere—to cut off); she didn’t mention that along with the options, the final choice is also a sort of dead matter—you’re committed, honey. So the postmortem idea works. Trying to revive the options and choose a different path—well, it’s kind of too late. Maybe I’m trying to say, the only out now is the coward’s way out. The options are dead, Sue, and you killed ’em, so stop dissecting and move on. Go forth with faith.
I’m reluctant to reveal yet what my small business project is (don’t want to kill my options! I’ve learned to be more careful with that knife), so I’ll just say I’m trying to figure out a viable way of turning my passions—writing, weaving, spinning, art—into a business. And I’m doing a lot of research. And I must say, faith is essential here.
One of this week’s commitments is to share a scripture with my family or friends. This means You, if you’re still reading.
The first scripture I thought of was, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). That’s not one of the scripture choices though. My friend, Heather Bullough, provided me with more scriptures and encouragement in her blog post today, but they also weren’t among the choices in the manual. Apparently there are quite a number of encouraging messages in the scriptures. Go figure.
Though I love Malachi 3:10 and recently referred, here in my blog, to receiving blessings from the windows of heaven, I decided to go with the first scripture—about Daniel in the lion’s den—because I feel like I’m in a lion’s den of my own fears right now. “God…sent his angels, and…shut the lion’s mouths,…and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God” (Daniel 6:22-3).
Send angels, please!
I also find support in this concept from one of the short videos we watched: “True faith is focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ and always leads to action” (Elder David A. Bednar). The video showed the story of the Israelites carrying the ark of the covenant into the river Jordan. The waters didn’t part for them to cross till they got their feet wet. Power follows action.
So, I guess I need to get my feet wetter because I’m in need of some power!