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Responding to God’s Call: Sinking is Better Than Sitting

By Jason Bilotti | March 21, 2024
Responding to God’s Call: Sinking is Better Than Sitting

Usually, “having blinders on” is not a compliment. Blinders are things that limit our vision or our awareness. It’s not something we want said about us.

But when it comes to heeding God’s call, blinders are precisely what we need.

Wikipedia defines blinders as a piece of horse tack that prevents the horse from seeing to the rear and sometimes to the side. Racehorse trainers have their horses wear blinders to prevent them from falling prey to distractions like crowds. Horses leading carriages navigating bustling city streets often wear them to keep from getting spooked.

In other words, blinders encourage horses to stay focused on the task at hand.

Enough about horses—why should we wear blinders for Jesus? To eliminate distractions, right? They are all around us and come in the form of people, social media, television, other religions, obsessions, and idols. I know what you’re thinking – “You can’t see what’s coming next with blinders on. In fact, visionary leaders say you must have peripheral vision to always be ready for what is coming next.” And that’s true, but I’m talking about having blinders for Jesus – staying focused on what He has called you to do and running straight ahead into His arms.

My wife, Haley, and I did our best to walk in obedience to the Lord this way as we responded to His call. We knew God was sending us to the mission field. Our life was full of things that kept us busy. I was running two Chick-fil-A restaurants; Haley was leading regular Bible studies out of our home. And together, we were raising two kids.

And yes, there were plenty of reasons to be “spooked.” God was calling us to places thousands of miles from home – villages in West Africa where we didn’t speak the language and where we felt clueless. We were meant to share the gospel in lands that were majority Muslim.

But even in the face of distractions and potential roadblocks, God cleared the way for us. He opened doors to a prison, an orphanage, schools, huts, and to the hearts of gentle souls who have become some of our dearest friends—and our son.

In our lives—yours, mine, and every believer’s—God will call us to do things that seem beyond our ability. But when we blind ourselves to distractions and fears, God moves.

In his book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, pastor Mark Batterson writes about Peter and his choice to answer Jesus’s call to leave the boat. Matthew 14:28 says, “And Peter answered him, ‘Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water’” (ESV). Batterson writes, 

“Peter is the disciple who sinks in the Sea of Galilee, but he was also the only disciple who walked on water. It’s so easy to criticize Peter from the comfortable confines of the boat. I think there are two kinds of people in the world: creators and criticizers. There are people who get out of the boat and walk on the water. And there are people who sit in the boat and criticize water walkers… I’d rather get wet than have a numb gluteus maximus. When everything is said and done, I think our greatest regrets will be the God-ordained risks we didn’t take. We won’t regret sinking. We will regret sitting.”

Believe it or not, even if we’ve never met you, Haley and I have been praying for you. Since God first inspired us to share our story, we have been praying for those who would hear it. Our shared prayer is that you will hear and obey God’s call for you and then step through the doors to adventure and blessing that He will open for you.

Will you sink or sit?

It’s probably happened to you. You felt that nudge, an urge from deep inside, calling you out of your comfort zone. Calling to you to take a risk. You have felt that call from God, asking you to step out of the boat to do something significant. Jason and Haley Bilotti each felt it—for years. But as they began to have children and their obligations with Chick-fil-A grew, they didn’t see a way to answer the call of their hearts: to serve God through missions. When the opportunity presented itself for them to take separate mission trips, they learned just how creative God truly is.

In their new book, Sink or Sit, Maxwell Leadership Publishing’s newest release, discover the story of God’s provision and power as He works through the Bilottis to impact the people of Niger. Sink or Sit will both inspire and empower you to take your own leap – to get out of that boat – to trust that sinking is better than sitting. Click here to order your copy today.

About the authors

Jason Bilotti is a franchisee of two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia. Throughout his career, he has developed 39 leaders, 31 of whom are now Chick-fil-A franchisees themselves, and eight who serve on the Chick-fil-A Support Center staff. He has served as chair of several organizations, including Chick-fil-A Atlanta Marketing board, FCA Buckhead board, Whitefield Academy Board of Trustees, and Schools for Niger, Africa board.

His wife, Haley Bilotti, has served on the Ten Thousand Reasons board for seven years as the chaplain and chair of the due diligence committee. She was also a Bible Study Fellowship leader for eight years and led Bible studies for women in her own home for seven years. Haley is also a Flourish Mentor at Passion City Church.

Jason and Haley met while working at Chick-fil-A as teenagers. They have been married for thirty years and have three adult children: Rachid, Hunter, and Paulina. They have led over thirty mission teams to Niger, Africa, and are the cofounders of WYGO Ministries. They currently attend Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

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