All the planning in the world won’t necessarily make you ‘feel’ ready for the moment when you have to act. When I studied classical piano in Belfast, I used to spend hundreds of hours preparing to perform recitals for exams. But when those exam days finally came, not once did I ever ‘feel’ prepared. Nerves kicked in and feelings of self doubt were dominant. Sometimes, I just dreamed of climbing into bed, pulling the covers over my head and hibernating for about the next year! I always felt unready.

In this life, there’s no such thing as ‘the perfect moment’. There are just a series of imperfect opportunities. You are navigating a unique set of circumstances which are unchartered and undiscovered. It’s very much ‘on the job’ learning and this is the crucible where faith is forged.

In the Old Testament, God called Joshua to be the successor to Moses. This was a big deal for Joshua since he was following in the footsteps of a legend, a man who had led a million Israelites to deliverance from the oppression of the Egyptians. However, now that Moses was dead, Joshua had to lead those same people onwards to the ‘promised land’. Sounds grand – but Joshua clearly felt vulnerable and out of his depth, perhaps even doubting it was possible. Yet God spoke to Joshua three times during the course of the same conversation and affirmed to him ‘Be strong and courageous‘ (Joshua 1). Interestingly, God didn’t give him the route map and plan. He simply ‘commanded’ Joshua to lead with courage. Did this make Joshua ‘feel’ any more prepared? No. It simply meant that he had to keep moving forward and trusting God along the way.

Stop waiting for the perfect moment. It doesn’t exist. You’ll never ‘feel’ ready. Better to make the most of the imperfect opportunities that are all around you. No-matter how vulnerable you may feel, dare to keep moving forward with courage. This is faith.