Posts Tagged ‘opportunity’

“The world in which we live equally distributes talent…” It’s a direct quote from a Southern New Hampshire University commercial and I couldn’t disagree more if I tried. First of all the world doesn’t distribute talent, talent comes from a much higher authority, from God Himself. Secondly, it is not equally distributed—not even close. Oh I believe everyone gets at least one, but some get many and that’s okay as well. The speaker then speaks about the uneven distribution of opportunity. Unfortunately that’s true too, but here’s what I know. None of that frees us from the obligation to do whatever we have with whatever we’ve been given. If you have one talent, put it to good use, if you have a hundred, put as many of them to use as you can. God expects it, that’s why He gave them to you. If you have a million opportunities you’re responsible to use them all and if you only have one, you have a choice, you can lament that you only have that one or you can make the most of it. I’m not belittling a lack of opportunity or injustice, just laying out the choice.

I used to think I made my own breaks. I’ve since given up on that line of thinking. I use to wonder why I got some opportunities, and got overlooked for others, all it did was make me doubtful, discourages and bitter. Creatives can’t afford any of that. Instead we need to seek out the opportunities, pray and do the work. We need to be bold, creative and trusting. Ephesians 5 reminds us: “15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” We need to live God honoring lives and making the most of every opportunity in these evil says, and these days are evil. The gifts, talents and opportunities we have been given are given to us to make the world a better place and point it to its only hope.

Paul gives us some further information on how to live this out. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the end of the day, this is what it call comes down to. Talents are out of our control, to some degree so are the opportunities, but what we do with them well my friend that is in our hands. Live wise, seek God’s will, stay pure and sober, worship the One who gives it ALL, and live in grateful inspiration and anticipation. Use all you have to God’s glory, He’ll take care of the rest. He might even use you to make these days a little less evil.

On my recent ministry trip to Nebraska, I met a man named John. John is a pianist and an extraordinary one. To hear John play piano is truly a gift. This is more than just playing the printed notes, there were fills and arpeggios and a whole bunch of other stuff that probably all have technical terms, which this non-musician does not know. To sing along in worship with him is an experience not to be missed. Now it you’re a little jaded, you might say well that’s nice but there are a lot of good piano players out there and you would be right, but none of them are quite like John.

You see, years ago, John lost a hand in a tragic accident, and not just a hand but his dominant playing hand. For most people that would seem an obstacle that is insurmountable. Most people aren’t John. John has a prosthetic hook replacing his left hand. He places a pencil top eraser on the hook and uses it to tap out the rhythms, while his right hand played everything else. He is not pretty good for a one handed guy, he is simply a great player. Faced with the loss of a hand, what he really faced was a choice. He could give up, (no one would have blamed him for that) or he could adapt and turn the obstacle into an opportunity. He must have been able to tell I wanted to say something but I wasn’t sure how I should phrase what I was thinking, so he said it for me. He said, without a shred of pridefulness, “I used to be good (he still is, and more) but now I’m inspirational.” To that all I can say is “Amen.”

John took an obstacle and turned it into an opportunity, and that’s the thing about creativity. Creativity finds a way where there is no way. When we follow God into turning obstacles into opportunities, we become inspirational and furthermore, we give glory to the one for whom all things are possible.

What are your obstacles and how can you turn them into opportunities?

You used to have to submit to a thousand publishers and hope one would choose you.

You used to have to photocopy your work and pray someone liked it. That out of all the options in the world, they would choose you.

You used to have to slog it out in the bars night after night hoping the right person, who knew the right person, who knew the right person would hear your song and choose you.

You used to be dependent on the whims of personnel manager who might see something on your resume and give you a call and even after that the executives would choose you.

Those days are almost gone and we live in a new frontier.

Now the click of a mouse (or a touch pad or whatever can put your message, your work to the world. You can own your own publishing company with worldwide distribution with the largest retailer in the world, a print publisher, your own broadcast network, your own recording studio and put your music in the world’s largest store, beside the Beatles and the Stones and you can do all of it for practically free. Can’t find the job you want? Make your own. The world is at your fingertips. Your dreams really can come true…

but there’s a problem.

You don’t need to be chosen to get your work out there anymore. There is only one person in the world that you need to pick you now. That person is the problem. That person is you. You need to believe in your work. You need to finish what you started. You need to get behind it. You need to tell your inner critic to shut up, call your work finished and put it out there for the world to see. You just need to do it. You need to look at yourself, look at your work and say it’s good enough, say to yourself, “I’m good enough. Time to ship.”

Is the competition fierce? Yes. Will everyone like what it is that you do? No. But you’re not creating for everyone. You’re creating for the ones who will be touched and blessed by what it is that you do. They’re your people. They’re your tribe. They’re the ones who will invest their time and their money in you. They’re the ones who will tell their friends. They’re the ones who will choose you.

…but before you can get to them, one thing needs to happen. You need to…

choose you!

“Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

What would happen if we could bring ourselves to see failure that way?