When determining priorities to establish a long-term strategy for your personal and professional growth, we should not only consider the practical, step-by-step implications of persistent practice, but also, the spiritual implications of how God has uniquely designed our personality and what awakens our soul. What does it look like and how does it happen, when we expect God to move in and through us?
When we consider the moral of the tortoise and the hare we remember that slow and steady wins the race. But if we step back and look at a larger perspective, when something does not go our way, how do we handle it? Or, what if the race we think we are meant to run turns out to be the wrong one? When God derails our plans, do we believe that we did not try hard enough or could there be something bigger going on? There is a supernatural part of every experience and every circumstance we are faced with. To know that God is ultimately sovereign and uses what might look like a failure to help further mold us and direct our path differently than we might have planned should comfort us even though it can be hard at first to lose or face rejection in our pursuits.
When it comes to a career, I have more than once been declined for job opportunities that I wanted and thought would be perfect for me. And I can recount all of the ways I could have done better in the interview, but ultimately, I should also be thankful that God has in his ultimate wisdom, changed the course that I worked so hard to achieve and desperately thought should be mine. In our setting priorities, there must be an understanding that we pursue practice with an intended outcome but God may have a different plan. The pursuit is important and knowing that God will honor the effort and the new knowledge and growth, though it may come to fruition in a different way than you have intended.
When I plan for big things, God often says no, not now, or yes but in a different way. It seems that He wants to receive the credit in a way I might not have envisioned. God wants my best efforts, my daily plodding and building something lasting and true and often ordinary, and wants me to be thankful in it. In many cases, where I expect the radical changes to occur like a work promotion, a new job opportunity, or acquiring a new skill, there is more evidences of God’s goodness and grace in the ordinary, everyday life. There is a soft, quiet spiritual power and strength in the daily orchestration of life’s simplicity that cannot compete with the mountain-top supernatural experience. But, when there is the normal, often mundane routine, it gives greater grandeur and appreciation for the occasional mountain-top experience. The ordinary is where the consistent, almost boring becomes extremely powerful and where fruits of your labor are most evident.
There are typically long gaps for me once I come to a place wishing for a new challenge, where instead I am found persistently waiting, pursuing daily habits and dreaming of an opportunity to pour my heart into the more perfect industry, environment, or company. And yet, if I look around, I will find opportunity to be thankful for what God has provided today.
I seek a sort of apprenticeship to become a well-rounded digital and business expert, currently focused in the digital marketing business world that I am immersed in. Even now, there is a consistent awareness that I could step off of the tracks and join a company that either pays better but demands more of my time and less flexibility or one that is quite practically boring and allows for punching the clock but mindless. Some days, one or the other sounds fantastic. But, would it stay nice for longer than a season?
In the daily struggles, as I see many others in the digital space move from job to job and try to find what makes them happy, I am reminded of what is more important, contribution to others, serving others in a spirit of gratitude and working with a thankful heart. When we start with this mindset we can discover fulfillment and happiness in the midst of the contribution. When I start with how I can contribute to those around me, with my closest neighbor, my wife and my kids, and working from there out, I can discover the fulfillment and happiness that I had been longing for. In the patient persistence of pursuing daily habits and practice, I review my learnings and dreams over the previous quarter and what contributions have been made both personally and professionally and lastly, is there something I should change for the next quarter? God, in his ultimate wisdom, directs my path. Even now, working at Wpromote, I could not have forseen this path of growing into a Senior Digital Marketing Manager 5 years ago. I have worked hard to get here, even though I did not know where ‘here’ exactly was when I set out on the pursuit. One thing I did know, standing still was not an option to continue growing. When I engage with where I am and am present in the space that God has provided, I am more fulfilled and content, and I am pacing myself to build consistency that lasts through the long-term.