Friends of mine wish to tour as musicians, move up within their organization, get accepted into a prestigious academic program, receive grant money to start a new non-profit ministry, or grow their ministry into a greater level of prominence.
All of these represent things that could happen in the future but do not exist in the present. They are merely dreams far off in the distance.
I started this blog out of a desire to share thoughts and have a place for conversation. Never did I intend to write a book by gaining a following here. But, ultimately this blog led to me publishing a book with a recognized publisher. I know a lot of bloggers whose main goal is to get a book deal and they continue to fall short of their goal.
I would argue they are falling short of landing a book contract from a publisher because they are not focused on stewarding the great opportunity they have right in front of them. They’re more concerned about growth and the future than they are with the people engaging their work right now.
Even you likely have a list of things you would like to happen in the next few months or years. This isn’t a bad thing because dreaming gives us hope that the present isn’t forever—greater things are on the horizon. But here’s the harsh news: the future isn’t now, it is only an unrealized opportunity.
All is not lost though. You can help bring these supposed opportunities to fruition quite simply.
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First, an analogy…
Getting new and better opportunities reminds me a little of exercise. Trainers and health experts encourage people to exercise in order to have more energy throughout the day. Not long ago I started ramping up my work outs because the demands of my job were increasing. I knew I needed to expend more energy to be able to handle the longer hours. The big idea of exercise is that you have to spend energy to get energy.
Receiving new opportunities is quite similar.
New opportunities come as you pour into the opportunities that are right in front of you (tweet this?). Maybe these opportunities aren’t the ones you’ve dreamed of. In fact, they could be quite mundane. But you do have something right in front of you.
Just like exercise, influence and opportunity come by way of stewarding well what has been placed before you.
No better testimony exists than that of others who know the work you’ve put into the thing you should be focused on right now.
Pour yourself into the opportunity you have now in order to receive the opportunities you dream of later.