Front and Center!

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When I was in college, I took the dreaded public speaking class, only because it was required. Ironically, I got stuck taking two of them due to an advising error. That’s some painful irony! Most of us in the class were pretty nervous, to varying degrees. Being a combination of shy, very introverted and anxious, I was on the far extreme– terrified.

Then there was Angie.

She was such a natural public speaker. It made us all very envious and even more insecure. She didn’t use her allowed notecards, smiled, actually used hand gestures, and to bewilder us all, walked around as she gave her speech! Suddenly a C seemed the best grade the rest of us could achieve.

I squeaked by in that class, but it was quite painful. One specific speech went strangely well, though. It’s the one I wasn’t able to prepare for, believe it or not. How I missed that we had a speech the next day, I have no idea! I was always over-prepared if anything! Of course, I panicked. But that didn’t change my predicament, so I did what many of my classmates always did and got ready to “wing it”. I chose to speak about music education, a passion of mine. I realized I knew so much about it that I could just put a couple cues on my “notecard of desperation” and have more than enough to say.

Short story long, I aced that speech. I wouldn’t recommend that approach to academics, but I learned a couple life lessons. First, don’t space out in class. Seriously though, 

I learned that it is not hard to talk about what I am passionate about.

I’m no Angie! But that was my highest speech grade in both classes. Even weirder, I was only mildly nervous instead of my usual twitching, bordering-on-a-panic-attack self. The worst part, answering the classes questions afterward, was a breeze that day. I hesitate to admit it, but it was almost… fun?

Such a great lesson to apply to our Christian lives. When we pour our time and energy into passionately knowing our loving God, it is a joy to talk about Him. It doesn’t matter if you are an “Angie” or a typically anxiety-ridden introvert. It starts to become a joy. Even better, we as Christians have the Holy Spirit always guiding our hearts and minds to speak the wisest, best-timed, perfect words for every occasion. So, we can spend more time investing in actually knowing God, and less time stressing about every word we may be required to say that day. God is so good to us! He will always help us represent Him, and His amazing love for us, well!

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