Normally, the 3000-soul town I study in is not exactly lively. But once a year, the Christmas Market changes that picture entirely: The vendors open their booths, music plays, and hundreds of people crowd the streets.
Our seminary participated in this event, and I was there with them. I sold handmade soap and bead necklaces to help poor women in Uganda get an education.
I had been thinking about the set-up for weeks. Trying to get the right decorations and materials together. And when I did a test-assembly on my bed, the display looked great.
Then, at 11AM, I went to the market to set up shop. And I got my own table, as expected. But we were doing several things at the booth, and the setup I had planned just wasn’t going to work. I had to switch gears to adapt, taking things off the table and reorganizing the remaining stuff.
Then, the first customers came. But they were bypassing my table to look at the other craft table at our booth. I realized that they weren’t seeing my products because the table cloth was too dominant. So I had to rearrange the setup again. This time, it worked.
I was there until 6PM. The booth was in a side street, so there weren’t that many people. But considering the location, it still went well. I sold almost 20 bars of soap and 2 necklaces. And I had a few good conversations with people. One of which was with a visiting student. She admitted that she occasionally had creative ideas, but was afraid to try them. What if they didn’t work? And what if you made mistakes?
I could tell her that there is a time to perfect your ideas, but first, there is a time to go with the flow. I told her how I had rearranged the craft table several times, and that every painting starts with rough sketches. I told her of Uganda and how they go with the flow all the time. And I encouraged her to just try. Even if it’s small. And even if she wasn’t confident. Because if you never try, you never fly. She was happy at the end of it, and I hope she does try.
How about you? What does “go with the flow” mean in your life? Whatever it is, I hope you try. And eventually, fly.
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