Have you ever noticed that heroes don’t run from explosions any more in the movies? Seriously, that’s so “last year.”
No, the really cool movie hero simply tosses his cigarette toward a fire near him. That fire just happens to be around some massively combustible edifice (gas stations work best for this). As he turns his back and walks nonchalantly toward the camera, a massive explosion erupts behind him. But he’s so confident, he never even flinches. He just keeps swaggering into the camera shot, while electric guitars wail on the soundtrack. Abrupt cut to black.
It’s called “The Explosion Walk,” and it’s considered a movie cliché at this point. In fact, Leslie Nielsen made fun of it in the Naked Gun movies. After he sets off an explosion, he continues to walk past the camera. That’s when we see the back of his coat smoking and engulfed in flames.
I got to do my own explosion walk once. That was the day I quit my job…
It was almost 4 pm. I was sitting in my office, watching the minutes tick away. I remember asking myself repeatedly, “Am I really gonna do this?”
My resignation letter sat in front of me on my desk. I was trying to get the nerve to hand in that letter and walk away from everything—my salary, my health insurance, my career, my friends and support system.
I knew at that moment my entire life could change, for better or worse.
It was a good job, with excellent pay and benefits. The problem was I had simply outgrown it, and it was starting to feel like a prison sentence. But then again, God does some of his best work in prisons.
But be careful with the timing of starting your own explosion. Lots of people have walked away from jobs on a whim and wrecked their lives. Flick that match simply out of frustration and the blast is liable to go off in your face.
In other words: don’t try this at home, kids. Your Father in heaven needs to be calling the shots with something this life-changing. Explosions are exciting, but an expert should be in charge or you might just lose a finger.
The key for taking risks and making major changes is listening to God and doing it his way, in his timing.
Through prayer, God had shown both my wife and me he was leading us away. We were to step out in complete faith, without a safety net. We had kids and the same financial needs everyone has. We weren’t independently wealthy. But because it was finally God saying “it’s time,” we knew we weren’t acting on a whim or frustration.
If God tells you to walk away from one thing, it’s his job to lead you to the next thing.
My palms were face-down on my desk, the resignation letter lying between the tips of my thumbs. I sat staring forward, trying to get up the nerve to push my chair back and start this fire. Frankly, I’d fantasized about this moment. I’d dreamt of doing the “Explosion Walk” after casually flicking my cigarette toward the flames.
This was the first time in my life I regretted not smoking.
After a quick prayer, I got up from my desk. I walked down the short hallway and delivered my letter without fanfare. I turned, walked back to get my keys, and headed out of the office to my car.
Sadly, there was no explosion emanating from the building when I left. Well, maybe just a little heat.
But I did feel something better. Freedom. Not a selfish freedom, but one that comes from listening, and then doing exactly what God tells you. And thanks to that step of obedience, our family got to see how God was more than capable of meeting our needs. As a result, I have a level of confidence today I never did before.
When you step out in faith to do the impossible, you learn that no job is your Savior. God is your true source and provision. You learn no circumstance is your prison. You discover a Power is working for you that’s greater than any paycheck or 501k.
You learn that “with God, all things are (indeed) possible!” But you never would have learned that if you’d believed the lie that you’re helpless to escape your prison. Sometimes, God will start a fire that burns your prison down!
But remember, nothing happens until you move. God will do the heavy lifting, but he won’t do all the work for you. We must participate with him in his transformative work.
So pray and listen, but then get ready to act when God gives you your cue.
Then flick your proverbial match toward the flame of your fears, and walk away unfazed as the explosion of your faith blazes for all the world to see.
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures