I received a miracle yesterday. Oh boy, you guys. Do I have a story for you. First, really quickly – thank you again for everyone who has been doing their Christmas shopping through my Amazon link, http://www.amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones . It’s a free and easy way to support this blog. And thank you for everyone listening to…
In life, you won’t always have ideal circumstances, but you will always have opportunities in un-ideal circumstances for advancement.
Nothing is ideal.
The world is not ideal. Our circumstances are not ideal. People are not ideal. The stars won’t always line up for you to be able to make your move, date, marry, or start a business. Even when we hope for the ideal times to take a risk, they never come.
And if you are waiting for that ideal thing or person, gifts and blessings will always pass you by. But, indulge me for a sec.
I noticed that in the midst of the un-ideal circumstances are silent opportunities, echoed only by the wind.
You won’t see these opportunities. You won’t hear them. But for a brief moment, you will feel the breeze of one or two opportunities caress your countenance. ONLY for a brief moment.
*If you are adamant about perfection, perfect circumstances, and ideal circumstances, you will likely dismiss silent opportunities too quickly. You will brush it off as a temptation and miss the God moments, signs, numbers, symbols, and signals. You may miss God’s voice in the mundane and the unconventional.
*If you have an open mind, you will pick up the scent. And perhaps you will debate in your mind the outcome of either choosing to pursue set ideals or risk taking the opportunity in front of you. (NB: I’m not talking about values and ethics. Just life).
*You may consider that going with the opportunity you find. But of you, this choice will require great honesty on your part. Honesty about what is currently possible about your situation.
Honesty about what the current limits, boundaries, and restrictions of your situation are. And honesty as well as a painful admission about whether you are willing to pay the price to overcome set obstacles and limitations.
The choice will always be yours.
We don’t live in a world of fairy tales and happy endings.
THIS IS THE REAL WORLD. WE ARE LIVING IT
We can’t always make situations ideal but we can at least grow toward becoming our ideal selves
What makes our failures, hopes, ruined expectations…painful is hope deferred.
That’s because we have to contend with life living its own life. Life has a life of its own. It has its own good days and bad days.
But, even as we contend with what we wish were an ideal set of circumstances for our lives at the moment of pondering a decision, there will always be hope.
There will always be an opportunity or a possibility in the midst of un-ideal circumstances to chose something, chose someone, or make a simple choice that can be a long term blessing. But that will require some mental, emotional, and physical work.
That’s for sure. So –
We may not have ideal circumstances. But we can manage and have the ability to shift our journeys and circumstances toward the ideal side of the life spectrum after the fact
On the other hand –
Failure to take an opportunity just because circumstances are not ideal may become the one pivotal thing in life that you look back on as failure. Regardless of that, you can become a pirate of your crisis. So –
Work with the ideal in mind but plan elaborately for the worst and for alternatives. Better yet, “Lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge the Lord and He will order your step (Proverbs 3:5).”
This is the real world.
Even so, its in the midst of us living “in the real world” and being a part of it that makes the work of the Almighty in us and through us a light, a delight, and a testimony.
Hands up if you have ever watched a video or read an an article that said something like:
The THREE things you need to succeed
FIVE keys to success
This ONE thing will make you rich in a year
SEVEN Life Changing Keys to Success
SIX Traits the Most Successful People Have in Common
….and so on.
Now! Hands up if you are sick and tired of hearing about “this” key to success, “that” key to success, and the many other different keys to success that never seem to end?
These days, listening to “The Experts” these days end up confusing and frustrating some of us. They share keys like be consistent, determination, commitment, communicate well, excellence is required, vision is necessary…or need I go on?
While these are informational, across the board, they are highly personal to the experts. Folks need different keys for different areas of their life and business; for different industries, at different times. That’s why “keys to success” never seem to end.
After listening to several or trying to put them to work, you end up becoming frustrated. I think its because the many “keys to success” out there miss a pivotal focus.
I had a terrible cough and nose bleeding for a week. And traveling didn’t make it easy. But my travel wasn’t all cough, blood, and tears. I met, connected with, and drove with a wonderful young man for 10 hours from Redding, California to Los Angeles.
Meet Landon from Idaho.
He is an organic farmer (7 years running), world traveler, and extreme hiker from a wonderful family. Plus, he is only 23. Our drive was fun.
Landon shared his passion for storytelling, script writing, film, and production. But, he had questions for me. And the questions was the sign to share this post. Initially, I felt that it was premature to share this, but Landon inspired its release.
Exception: I like writing short posts. But, because of the weight and life changing nature of this post, this will be a little emphatical for the sake of clarity. It will benefit you greatly. It might change your life. I will try to be brief. (That said…)
Here’s the deal –
We all have God-given gifts and talents. Let’s call these cluster of gifts and talents – your circle of competence. They are your strengths and can cause you to blossom.
“The gift makes way for the man” ~ unknown
Having gifts and talents does not mean you will succeed. Finding them doesn’t mean you will automatically grow.
Understanding the lifecycle of your gifts and talents (circle of competence); and understanding where you are in that lifecycle can help you to – become clear, find peace in your search for meaning, and enable you to grow intentionally and effectively on your journey toward destiny.
I really do! Especially when it comes to worshiping God in song.
Often, I get lost in it that I forget about time and commitments. That often causes problems.
And that is the dilemma Ale faced recently.
She is a beauty, a dancer, a worshiper, a lover of Jesus, a friend of God, a risk taker, a woman of faith…from Columbia. She is (in typical Ale lingo) – just amazing!
When Ale experienced getting lost in God’s love, goodness, and presence while praising God “in the closet,” she too forgot about her time and commitments with her parents. She got chewed out for it. Trying to find an answer, she asked –
“Ish’, how do I balance worship of God with honoring time and other commitments even though I get so lost in worship and conversation with God during adoration (quite) time?”
“Ish, how did you know you had faith? What was the turning point? When did things shift in your mind before you were able to know you had faith? Before you were able to trust in abandon to God and his call?”
I had been thinking about this question for a while.
And last week, I had an epiphany. It hit me.
Of course, I planned on sharing this with you as I noted in my previous post but experienced computer problems. So, I apologize.
But thanks to my crazy awesome friends, I have a new one. My friends got me a new one.
First, literally! Then, out of embarrassment. And then, I wished I had really died. Strong thing to say, ain’t it? Well, here’s the story.
I HATE HEIGHTS! I DO!
But, I desperately wanted to join the swim team. I had done gymnastics. So, I decided to combine gymnastics and the spring board. Yep – diving!
What in the world was I thinking!?
I did all the swim team traditions, became part of the team, and boasted of my new un-tested skill. After all, coach was the one who invited me to combine my skills and break records. Yeah – right!
Then, one Sunday, for a team bonding experience, we went to a water park. Folks were sliding here and there having fun on the deep end. I stayed at the shallow end.
I just happened to remember – I AM SCARED OF HEIGHTS.
But then the cool kids on the swim team started showing off their skills on the diving board. And it was my turn. But, I stayed on the shallow side of the pool and acted like cool catz do.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t tough enough to escape the cheering and hollering of my nickname which had been so carefully crafted for a man supposedly as skilled as I was.
I couldn’t escape it anymore when they called out that name – ISH’ THE FISH.
That’s right – Ish’ the fish…Ish’ the fish…Ish’ the fish…
Soooo…., I walked up to the diving board, got on the board, and began to tremble. Against my better judgement, I wore my swim goggles. Then everyone became quiet. I couldn’t turn back from the edge of the board now.
It now became – NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER!
So, I approached the board, jumped the wrong way, on one foot, and did a front flip which was the lousiest front flip in human history and landed head first in the water.
How are you all doing? Sorry for the long absence. So, I was at a conference for a couple of days and went hiking deep in the mountains. I had no service and no way of sharing the adventure with you. But, I am back.
My adventure was Spirit filled, Spirit led, power packed, and full of miracles, divine connections…just to name a few. I learned a lot from friends and speakers. I had a wonderful time with our helper and friend – the Holy Spirit. So, I just want to share a few things with you to get you going. More is on its way.