If you’ve experienced “wow” you know the feeling I’m talking about. Michael Hyatt describes in his book “Platform” what it’s like to experience a moment like this. I was fortunate enough to experience “wow” just days after I read his chapter, “Bake in the Wow.” Hyatt describes in this chapter that every wow moment has some combination of the following ten elements:
1. Surprise: A wow experience always exceeds our expectations. I had just woken up and read an email on my phone with an attached Powerpoint. I concluded it would be easier to open on my computer so I hauled my laptop into bed along with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Before I opened the email, I noticed another email, unopened, from a few days before. I was a little curious why I hadn’t received it on my phone but before I had too much time to ponder the fact I noticed it was from Jillian Hensley, the director of recruiting at Rahab’s Rope.
2. Anticipation: As you anticipate a wow experience, you live it in advance. I had been awaiting this reply for what seemed like an eternity, anxiously refreshing my email on my phone hoping to hear back from them. I had filled out an extensive application and kept my fingers crossed that I would be able to venture to Bangalore, India over the Christmas holiday. Finally, when I least expected it I received my response.
3. Resonance: A wow experience touched our heart. I had been accepted! I was going to be one of ten, men and women, traveling to Bangalore to make a difference. They read my essays, they opened themselves up to my journey, and they chose me. Of all the people, they chose me. For eleven days over the Christmas holiday I was going to be able to go work with victims of human trafficking.
4. Transcendence: In a wow experience, you experience purpose, meaning, or even God. My heart was filled. I knew that this path in my journey was not about me, it was about God. Just like everything else in this world, God had given this to me, but it was in this moment that I felt this gift from God in my entire being. Overcome with emotion, I began to laugh and then cry.
5. Clarity: A wow experience creates a moment when you see things with more clarity than ever before. It was about two years ago that I accepted Christ into my life and started hearing the calling from Christ to be a missionary. At first I thought it was crazy; not the social norm, and therefore not a real job. But as I continued to allow God into all aspects of my life I realized becoming a missionary was what God intended for. On top of that, I’ve felt a strong push to work with victims of human trafficking. I never had a reason why I felt this. When I first felt my calling I had never done mission work and I certainly had never worked with human trafficking victims. But when I read the email from Rahab’s Rope the way I felt was indescribable. It felt right. I felt at home.
6. Presence: A wow experience creates timelessness. In that moment I felt like my career had taken flight. This was the beginning of my post college life. My dreams were coming true.
7. Universality: A true wow experience is nearly universal. I know everyone does not share my dream of traveling to India to fight human trafficking. Nonetheless, everyone has dreams and when those dreams unfold and start to become a reality you can hardly contain yourself. That feeling is universal. It’s not something you can describe but rather something that evokes every emotion in your body. You don’t know what to feel because it’s a feeling we so rarely get. It’s the feeling of WOW.
8. Evangelism: A wow experience has to be shared. Immediately after I found out I set my Facebook status to let the world know. I literally felt like I was giving an acceptance speak for an Emmy award. Then I called my sister. I was still in tears when I talked to her but was able to pull myself together to tell my parents and best friends. I checked my Faacebook about four hours later assuming maybe twenty of my close friends and family would have liked it. Much to my surprise, over 140 people liked my post. So many people were supporting my dream.
9. Longevity: The shine never wears off a wow experience. It’s too early to know if this shine will last. It’s definitely lasted the past week but I’ll only know with time. My hopes are that I never forget that moment. I never forget how complete I felt and how much I rejoiced. I hope I remember I gave it all to God and when I did He was able to reveal His plan to me.
10. Privilege: A wow experience make you proud in a good way. I think what I’m most proud about is how far I’ve come and how happy I am since I accepted Christ into my life. Being accepted to this mission trip is just a testimony to following Christ and allowing good things to come to you through Him. I always felt fighting human trafficking is what I’m supposed to do but it wasn’t until I was accepted to this mission trip that I felt it being confirmed.
I took a chance and jumped out on a limb. I thought that’s what God wanted me to do. Now that I’m on that limb I can look back and see how it is securely fastened to sturdy tree. God is that sturdy tree. I believe that when we are rooted in Him we are able to see his beauty. We are able to have wow moments.
*the content in bold is directly quoted from Michael Hyatt’s book “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World”