I asked a young boy in my elementary class at church to ask the blessing over our supper. He said he didn’t want to do it. When I asked why he didn’t want to say the prayer he said, “Because, I’ve never prayed in front of people before.” When he said that I was taken back to the first time I ever prayed “out loud” in front of a group of people.

I was 14 years old, in a Sunday School class with a bunch of people I didn’t know, in a church that I was visiting with a friend. The Sunday School teacher asked that everybody in the classroom say a word of prayer as we went around the room. I was scared to death! When it was my turn to pray all I could say was, “Lord, bless everyone in this room here, today, Amen.” Short, sweet, and nervously spoken… my very first prayer ever spoken out loud where others could hear.

I told my story to the boy and the rest of my class. I told the little boy, “There’s a first time for everything you do in life. Tonight can be your first time to pray in front of a group of people just like I did it all those years ago. Once you’ve gotten your first time out of the way, you’ll finally be free from the fear of doing it for the first time.” After my short word of encouragement, the little boy agreed to pray for the meal. He did an excellent job of formulating his words and saying what was on his heart. His first time to pray out loud in front of people was over… a fear had been overcome! He was now free to pray out loud in front of other people.

Life is full of first time experiences. For some reason we seem to think that they only happen when we’re young, but that’s just not true. There are first time experiences awaiting us every day of our lives if we will open ourselves up to them. The only thing that separates us from those experiences is fear. Life gets old and stale when we stay in our comfort zones and fail to embrace the new FIRST TIME experiences that are all around us.

Challenge for Today: Try something new, for the first time… even if it means ordering something new off the restaurant menu. Refuse to be held by the thought that there are no more new experiences to discover. Overcome the fear of  “THE FIRST TIME”.


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