You Have To Be Willing to Put in the Work
“Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.”
When you want something, you have to be willing to take a chance and go after it.
The other day I was chatting with someone about business and where they wanted to end up in life.
I asked if they had a clear purpose and destination in their life of where they wanted to be in the next few years or heck even the next 30 days.
They told me that long term they really wanted to have a business that they could hand down to their kids to run.
That sounds pretty good to me.
So, I asked them what they were willing to do to make that happen.
Their answer kind of shocked me.
Well Dan, I’m not really sure how to make that happen. If someone was to hand me a million dollars then I could probably create one. Or maybe if they could just give me a business that I could run, then I would have it.
If you know me, you know that I’m not really good at hiding my expressions. So, I am 10000% sure that they could see the look on my face.
Before I could do anything, they started talking again.
Dan you sure are lucky that the Lord has blessed you with so much and such a GREAT life! I wish that would just happen to me. Someone would just give me a business like yours to be my own. You know or give the money to start one!
My first thought was.
Yes, I am lucky that he has blessed me.
And don’t get me wrong I give God FULL credit for everything in my life. From my amazing wife Jenna to my kids, to where I live, to the business, our clients, our team, our stuff, the way I was raised, our community, and the experiences that I get to have.
But I have also worked my butt off for him and the life that I have. It wasn’t just handed to me.
After those thoughts passed through my head. I literally laughed out loud!!!
Then I pondered for a second how to respond.
I told him this story.
A very strong Christian was walking through the desert in AZ when he saw this amazing garden.
His first thought was what is the amazing, beautiful garden doing out here in the middle of the desert?
Then his next thought was this is a mirage!!
As he walked closer, he saw that it was REAL. So, he walked through the gate and marveled at the beauty of the garden and all the plants.
Then he decided that he was going to find the owner and let them know that this garden was only possible because God had blessed it.
As he walked around, he found the owner. And proceeded to let him know, You know that this amazing garden is only possible because of God!
After about a 30-minute lesson (more like a lecture) he finally stopped talking to the owner.
The entire time the owner sat there patiently listening to the Christians lecture.
When he had finished the Christian asked him what he had to say.
The gardener responded, You are 100% correct this is only possible because of God, but you should have seen this place before I got here. It was just a desert!
My point here is that God gives us opportunities every day.
It is our choice if we take up the task as our own. And if we do then God wants to see us succeed.
We have to make the decision to do the work.
God is not going to hand you a business, or a finished project.
Because he knows that as people, we won’t appreciate the finished product the same if we don’t labor in the creation.
Just like making babies. It’s a lot of fun to begin with. Then a lot of work, about 18+ years. Then finally after years and years of effort, we get to enjoy watching the fruits of our labor venture out into the world and eventually we become grandparents.
I think you get my point.
God will give us the tools to succeed, but we have to be willing to do the work.
Time to Take Action
Today I want you to pause for a second and think about how blessed someone else is.
Did you do it potentially with a haughty heart? (Longing for what they have.)
If you did, look at the risks they took to get where they are.
Are you willing to take those same risks?
The next time you look at anyone else’s creation don’t look at the finished product.
Look at the labor that went into the creation. From the initial thought (concept) to the design, to the first round, to the finished refined product.
Lord, God, today we come to you with hearts that are full! They are full of love for you and the opportunities that you give unto us. God, today we pray that you would give us the courage and strength to look for those opportunities and not be afraid to go after them.
God, we know that you are there for us. And even if we don’t succeed the first time, you still want us to keep moving forward. God, today I pray that you give us the strength to keep chasing those opportunities that you have presented us with.
Give us the courage to do what we have never done before. and help us to do it all for you!
We ask all these things in your precious son’s name.
A Little More
As I stand here writing this I am reflecting on the conversation that I had with that person.
And my mind is still blown that they thought that I had been handed everything that I have.
The truth is that that thought is 1000% wrong.
I went back and reflected on all the decisions that I have made that lead me to where I am today.
From not letting Jenna break up with me in high school. That’s right she wanted to break up at one point and I told her No I wouldn’t let her do that. Then we worked through the issues we were having.
To build our house, we were turned down by more than 9 banks before we finally got approved for a construction loan. And the only reason we got approved was that we found the heart of one person and one branch. Because we had already been rejected at the main branch. It was only when I went to a branch that that manager decided to take a gamble on us.
To becoming a CDL tester, it took me over 1.5 years to figure out the process and get approved by the state. I literally had to get approved by a testing unit that knew nothing about me before the state would consider letting me into the program. Then after that, I had to take time off of work to go to Denver for a week for training. I borrowed money from my parents to get up there. Then I stayed with my wife’s cousin and she let me borrow her car to go back and forth to the training.
Then when Jenna came up to pick me up she got a flat tire and Billy (5 at the time) had to help her change the tire on our van. And the spare was low on pressure. Someone amazing stopped by to help her.
Starting our own business, took years to get traction. Then after making the decision to step out on our own corona hit less than 4 months later!! We hired one of our best friends and because of the economic situation, we could keep them employed. From the daily ups and downs of starting a business to growing into a small business.
To have customers that we bought permits for with our money NEVER paying us back. Making mistake after mistake after mistake and learning from every single one of those mistakes. I am sure that we are not done making mistakes yet!!
I bought a truck thinking that we would be doing a ton of CDL training and testing. Only to have that same truck sit for almost 12 months before I sold it because we did not even put 200 miles on it.
To getting my pilot’s license. I wrote a whole devotional on that process alone. You should read, it was GREAT.
The short version is that I got started, but then my instructor put me behind other students. Then when I was ready to go solo in a multi-engine, the instructor told me that he was no longer going to be an instructor. Just after I helped him add a very unique endorsement to his license using my plane.
To pivoting and finally getting to the finish line.
And whatever comes next in this crazy adventure we call life.
I have had TONS of help. But every single time something happened I had to be the first one to take action.
I had to ask Jenna on a date. I had to draw up plans for the house and ask the bank for $$. I had to be relentless when I wanted to become a CDL tester. I put my whole family at risk when we started our business. For my pilot’s license, I had to pivot and find a different direction when the instructor left me hanging.
Everything that has happened in my life is because I took action.
It was never handed to me, just like it hasn’t been handed to you.
So, if you are one of those who are waiting for an opportunity to come knocking at your door.
Get your butt off the couch, stop playing on your phone, and start looking for that opportunity.
Because it most likely is right in front of you. You just have to bend over and pick it up.
Thomas Eddison said it best when he said, Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.