Don't Think, Just Do It
It was the summer of ‘78. I had a scholarship to attend the University of Oslo to take classes as part of my Master Degree in Education. (All the classes were taught in English.) My class title was Physical Education in Scandinavia, which meant I experienced the PE activities taught in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. My Norwegian/ Swedish heritage made the trip more interesting.
Our instructor was an older Norske. She was so much fun. She ran a great class. I remember her cursing German car license plates as we rode in the class bus to a venue. She had experienced the Nazi occupation of Norway.
The class was working on a session of track and field. We were learning the high jump. I remember that when it was my turn, I would stand at the start of my approach, just thinking and analyzing over and over again about I was suppose to do (as well as with the others in class). My mind would get clogged with technique and my body would tighen up more and more with each thought. My mind was paralyzing my need for action. I would be going over and over what we were to do, how we were to perform and maybe even what we would look like if we missed clearance of the bar. Nobody in the class was disrespectful to our non action as we all seemed to be doing the same thing on our turn. We just stood there: wasting time, thinking.
There was not relationship to how long we were thinking vs how often we were successful in the clearance of the high jump bar. In fact the opposite was true. The more thinking meant less clearing.
And then our instructor could be heard shouting “DON’T THINK!”.
Stop thinking and just “GO”, “GO”, ”GO”.
“GO” do what needs to be done.
With those words of inspiration, I would spring into action without another thought, letting the flow of the event take over the natural reaction, often with success.
It is brilliant coaching strategy.
Now as a teacher and coach, I find this phrase quite contradictory. Can you imagine a teacher encouraging their students to “DON’T THINK”. Yet there we many times I “shouted my Norske coaches advice” to my tense athletes.
Yet, I think (oops there is that word again) about how many places in my life would I be so much happier if I would apply that advice!
I spend endless time needing to: evaluate….justify….clarify…. analyze. I think and…….I am paralyzed by my thoughts.
At a retreat, under the leadership of Jamie Winship, Jamie asked the group to pause and do a listening prayer. He asked us to listen to God for a word. I strongly and easily heard the word “RELAX”. Not just in the physical sense but in the mental sense. Just relax; it is all under My control. Don’t get so uptight. It really is not THAT bad. “RELAX”!
What if Jesus asked us to “DON’T THINK”?
Do you think Jesus tells us the same theme when He uses words like forgiveness, faith and believing? “DON’T THINK” and GO. Just “GO”, “GO”, “GO”. Go do what is natural to who you are and what our identity is in Him.
DON’T THINK about forgiveness………just practice it.
DON’T THINK about faith……..just live it.
DON’T THINK about believing……..just know He is real.
DON’T THINK about high jumping……..just GO do it.