Often, it may feel as though we have missed the boat or the opportunity or the promotion or whatever we may have believed was or could have been 'our time and chance'.
We spend days or weeks or months on the island of "if only" thinking and sitting and sitting and thinking about all that 'woulda coulda shoulda' been.
This is an empty and bottomless pit of despair. I love the words God wrote through King Solomon, “the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happens to them all” in Ecclesiastes 9:11.
It’s difficult to relate to the idea that out of failure comes much victory. It seems when we are observing others that every time they are at bat, it is a hit, every business decision they make leads to greater profit and every child they parent grows up to become the starlet or the whiz of Wall Street.
Yet, on our side of the street it seems there is only the brown grass, the chipping paint, and the missing shingles.
One thing I’ve learned about dealing with stress, anxiety, growth or anything worthwhile, is that the only way we ever gain entrance through and beyond is our willingness to sit and remain in our discomfort until we learn all God wants to teach us during this season. Taking the short cut or the ‘perceived’ easy way around, just means we continue to go around the same block again and again until we make the choice to do the hard work of growing during times of discomfort and uncertainty.
In short, it typically takes a breakdown to get a breakthrough.... this is where we want to wear the hat that says, "I don't feel like 'adulting' today"!
What I know to be true is that everything worthwhile will be uphill!
Our best life is way more about who we are becoming in our journey as opposed to the destination where we ‘think’ we are heading.
I continue to learn that we really can’t change a culture anymore than we can change the flow of a river, but we can step up in our world and actually be changed and empowered to make a difference.
Our time and our chance is ever before us, because we never know at any given time, when God will call us to stand up, step up, or stand out and do that thing we were born to do. You know what I'm talking about when I say that thing that you "just can't not do"! It's part of your personality, your DNA. It's who you were created to be.
We can work, or go through the motions of work, anywhere we choose to land. But working in and living out what we are passionately called to do, is the work that we will love and it will fulfill us. It's what is meant when people say that 'if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life'.
I honestly believe that God ignited a small candle, for lack of a better description, within us when we were born. Until we find ourselves aligned with Him and doing that 'thing' we were designed to do, we may feel a certain void. Perhaps, it may be a longing. And, when we find it and the dots all connect, we become unstoppable in our efforts to make a difference.
The time and chance that we can celebrate is that whatever we have done in the form of a “screw up” is often the way we best learn the right way to do something or the right thing that we are to be doing.
After spending many years thinking that perfection is the only way to achieve the desired outcome in any given thing, I realize, in looking back, that everything eventually works out ~ screw ups and all! I also know that perfection is not attainable in this life. Only Jesus is perfect! However, having a standard of excellence is high level thinking that comes from integrity.
I'm inclined to believe that things will usually work out for the best for those who are willing to make the best of the way things work out.
I am more acutely aware of how to do something, if at first I didn’t succeed in my efforts. Each time out, I operate from a place of greater understanding and it impacts my choices, my energy, and my attitude to be one based on hope rather than based on fear. (Big win, here!)
When disappointment is associated with a particular outcome, it is usually because I have attempted to drive it, tried to manage what I can’t control, or simply allowed the challenges surrounding it to become excuses for not doing my part in it.
Some time ago, I met a young man working at a restaurant who after having graduated from college and accepted a job making $100k, he decided that if he were to continue on his current path, he would spend a lifetime having to work harder to buy more in order to maintain a state of happiness because it wouldn’t come from the work he was involved in. He knew money, even a lot of it, would never satisfy his deep longing to live and work from his passion.
His answer? He had decided to go back to school and was working to get into med school because he plans to be a part of something bigger. He wants to work with a medical missionary ministry that brings basic healthcare to remote areas where there is none. In his prior opportunities to serve with this ministry he had learned that when a child is sick, he or she is kicked out of the home to avoid the risk of the entire family getting sick and dying. In this young man’s words, he summed up where he would best be able to serve; he said, “No mom should ever have to make that choice …”
What I learned from my conversation with this young man is that the greatest change happens in us as we become God’s messengers to reach hearts and lives in ways that we never dreamed. It becomes a tireless effort when we are working with passion within the area of our greatest strengths and vision.
Life isn’t a waiting game to get to a place, where we finish school, or get a great job, or get married, or have a child, or get the children reared and through college, or have a million dollars or retire, etc. Life is about now, enjoying today, this moment. We are not promised another one.
The key is realizing, that each day we start with a clean slate, a new opportunity to view the world differently, through eyes of grace and love. And, in turn, we receive back what we contribute.
So maybe, truth be told, time and chance happens every day.... and the questions is, what will we do with it?
Sheri Geyer is a Relationship Coach for Christian Women*
*And women seeking to learn more about a relationship with Jesus Christ!
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