Have you ever had something just slip through your hands? Maybe it was a dream or a rare opportunity. Perhaps it was something you believed was going to be a source of joy. Me too, so lets talk about it.
Of course, when I say everything, I mean something. Something you valued highly. Maybe it was your marriage, a job, a friendship, money, status, a child. We both know none of these things are everything. Important, yes! Everything, no. But at the time. When you’re holding your heart in your hand and soul ache becomes your constant companion, it feels like everything, right?
However, when you repeatedly fail, but keep on going, you end up with something better than you had before the heartache. You can call it what you want, but when you boil it down it’s called character.
We live in a world where if at first you don’t succeed, try something new. When that becomes your mantra, you end up with a pile of half-hearted attempts and little character. What happens is you never end up developing the skills that only come with time and practice.
I’m not going to break it all down into three steps for you. I already know by the stats that my readers aren’t interested when I do that. Instead I’m giving it to you as I see it based on personal experience. Consider it more a talk over some coffee. The truth is, I don’t know it all, but I do know this. Chances are it’s the end of the year and you feel like you messed it up.
In fact, taking it a step farther, you might even feel like you blew it and there aren’t going to be any new opportunities next year. The truth is you may be right. Maybe there won’t be those same exact opportunities. But maybe something better is on the way.
Lets face it, sometimes Cancer is terminal. Sometimes we lose the good job and don’t get a better one. Sometimes we lose the love of our life and end up doing life alone. Sometimes our kids rebel and never come back. Sometimes we fail the course and get dropped out of the program. The question is, what are you going to do about it?
I’d be willing to guess this is a very difficult time of year for you. Along with the normal stresses of life, you’re now wondering how you’re going to get it all done this month. You’re wondering how you’re going to pay for it all or if there even will be an all. You’re wondering what troubles you may face this upcoming year.
Here’s a tip. You’re more than the things you say, think or do. The enemy wants you to think that’s not true. He wants you to think that everything you own and achieve is all that matters. If your dream doesn’t come true, he wants you to think it’s because you’re a failure. That’s not true. If your dream doesn’t come true, maybe it’s because it wasn’t God’s dream for you or you just need to keep pushing.
So what do you do when your dream doesn’t come true? I’m glad you asked. What do parents tell their kids when the kids don’t get what they want? Wait until we get home (just kidding). No, what we tell our kids is maybe next time. That’s not saying ‘yes’ and that’s not saying ‘no’. It recognizes the fact that the future is a mystery. Not always unknowable, but a mystery.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived- next to Jesus- wrote, “I have seen something else under the sun: 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 happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11.
Clearly, sometimes despite your best efforts, you don’t get what you seek. It’s not because you aren’t fast or strong or brilliant, it’s just the way life is. The good news is if you aren’t all of those things, you still have a chance. So if you’re not winning, celebrate with those who are!
Once a farmer prayed to God because he had a humungous rock in his field that he could not move. God told the farmer to go out into the field and push on the rock each day for twenty minutes each day. The farmer did. For twenty years! And still the rock didn’t move an inch. Finally, he cried out to God because he was unable to budge it after all of his time and hard work. God answered him and said, “I never asked you to move the rock, I just wanted you to push on it. I can move it anytime I want!”
Maybe God isn’t expecting you to move the rock in your field just yet. Maybe all he wants you to do is push on it for awhile. When you do, many things will happen. Ultimately, you’ll end up a whole lot stronger than you were to begin with. Maybe there are others like your spouse and children who are watching and deciding what they’re going to do when they face difficult circumstances in the future.
At the end of the day, there are many people out there who “made it” without any effort on their part. If you were to ask most of them how they did, they’d probably tell you they did it on their own. Yet many of these same people, though successful, are not able to duplicate the process.
The truth is, you haven’t lost everything. Yes, it feels that way right now, but in time you’ll see it’s not true. That’s not down playing your loss or your pain. They’re both real. However, if what’s been lost cannot be regained, you need to acknowledge that and move on. With a little persistence, you might look over the next ridge and see your dream standing there looking back at you!