Three little words that may change your life… Yes, I can!

Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.

Today I did something that I never imagined I would do – I delivered the sermon at my church. Our pastor was on vacation this week and asked me several weeks ago if I would consider doing the sermon. He had been following my three little words blog series and thought that I might be up to taking on the bigger challenge of putting a whole lot more words together and doing the Sunday sermon. I thought about it for about a week before I replied – Yes I can.

Now let me disclose in all honesty that I have some experience in public speaking, but all of that was speaking about something that I knew a great deal about. I was in the IT industry for 30+ years with many roles in marketing that required that I make large and small audience presentations; so the act of speaking in front of an audience wasn’t the issue; it was the fact that this was to be a sermon, which I had only ever experienced from a comfortable seat in the pews. It was a scary proposition; but, also one that I found I was strongly drawn to accept. So, with a great deal of trepidation remaining, I replied to the pastor – Yes I can!

So, now it’s Sunday night and I can say that I did it, and It went well. Many people in the congregation congratulated me on doing a good job. I feel great about it now; but I’ve got to admit that I was concerned and unsure about it even at the moment that I started; but, I was committed to do it, because I had stepped up and said – Yes, I can!

Ironically for me, the sermon this morning was based upon the scripture in John, chapter 20, about Doubting Thomas, the one Disciple among the 11 remaining Disciples who doubted that Jesus had arisen from the grave and returned to be with them. So I had to preach about having doubts while having doubts about being able to preach (turn that over in your minds a few times).

I wrote out a script based upon some quick research into Thomas and then turned to the process of refining those words and deciding what to really say and what to drop. That’s not an easy process and I have a much greater appreciation for what preachers everywhere go through to arrive at what they end up delivering on Sunday. The key for me was to winnow down what I wanted to say once I had decided to say – Yes I can.

The challenge for all of us is to make that commitment, to take that first step to success by declaring to yourself and to others that you will do whatever it is that you are facing. Every challenge in life starts with the question, can you do this?  If others aren’t asking, you are asking it of yourself. Do I have the skills or capabilities? Am I ready to take this on? Am I willing to take this on?  Maybe it’s a new job or maybe it’s a new responsibility like marriage or parenthood. Maybe you’ve been asked to do something at work that is a stretch or maybe someone has asked you to do something that you’ve never tried to do before. If you feel strongly about your need to try to do it, the first person that you need to convince is yourself. You need to be able to look in the mirror and say – Yes, I can!

So, tomorrow is Monday and many of us have to go off to work. Do you trudge off with your head held down, afraid of what the day may bring or maybe you’re fairly sure of what it will bring and dreading it ahead of time? I’ve written several posts that were meant to help with that – Just do it was one and Deal with it was another. It is so much better to start the day with the attitude of being able to handle or do whatever the day throws at you, but remember also the advice in the post I need help that It is important to ask for help when you need it and not to fail or withdraw in self-inflicted defeat without really trying when all you need is the help that is available all around you. With or without help it is important that you eventually get to the place where you can say to yourself and others with confidence – Yes I can.

Have a great day because you can.

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