The Moment When You Pass Up A Good Opportunity.

Towards the end of 2014, I was living each day off the grace of God and the fumes of others.

With the increasing demands of my full time day job, and struggling to keep up with my photography and media consulting businesses – I was stuck between blessing and burnout.

I couldn’t seem to crack the code of knowing how to neatly fit the work I NEEDED to do and the work I WANTED to do all in the same 24 hours. Pretty soon, my body made the decision for me, and the week after Christmas I was out for the count. I was sick, out of work, and on top of that, had to reschedule all appointments I had lined up for my freelance work. I had hit a low point.

When I finally got back with the program in February (that’s right I was sick an entire month and ½) I had a few bits of knowledge under my belt. But even with having gone through that, I’m still working on deciphering what’s a ‘good opportunity’ and what’s a ‘God opportunity’.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE JOC? ISN’T A POSITIVE OPPORTUNITY A POSITIVE OPPORTUNITY?!

(Well in my book) A good opportunity is a gig or circumstance that presents itself ON PAPER like an opportunity to grow. It could be your business, your relationships, or even your spiritual life. Though this opportunity looks like it’s what you want, it’s actually not THE BEST decision you can make because down the road it will end up simply occupying your schedule and not doing a thing for your productivity. A God opportunity is any gig or circumstance that is truly God’s best for your life. It’s the one, weighty step or blessing that trumps all the other little ones that have presented themselves to you in the past. Not to say the other opportunities were bad; just not God’s best.

It would seem that once you get a handle on what these terms actually mean, navigating life would be easier eh? Well not so much. I’m currently at this place in my life.

So many opportunities and events and people come across my path every day, but I’m trying to hear from God as to what things I need to “wait on” and what things I need to “go get”. All of my life, I’ve had the go-getter mentality. No this doesn’t mean that I had to ‘rise from poverty and a life of crime’, but opportunities that weren’t there, I created. I didn’t wait for people to bring things to me; I actively pursued them without asking.

Over the years, I’ve learned that being a on hustle 24/7 isn’t always the best thing for my life. A hustler is constantly on the brink of burnout because they are always working not to be one step behind (and by behind I mean on trend with everyone else). YES, this is admirable, but there are sometimes in life where God wants me to fall back a bit and let Him at least crack the next door open for me so I can walk in. I like to picture it as God being my chivalrous boyfriend. He always has my back and is always there to support me.

Let’s say the door of “the next best step” is constantly before me. The decision to hustle 100% is like me running past and shoving Him over yelling “Dangggg I got this. I can open my own door!”; when all He is trying to do is give me a break. And let’s go a step further and say, behind that door is a year full of unnecessary struggle. If I would allow God to start opening the door first instead of bogarting my way in, it would give Him enough time to close the door and say, “Nah, this one is wack, let’s go through this other door instead.”

There is a constant conversation going on in my head as I try to decide if some event or opportunity is something I should “let God handle” or if it’s something He’s set up for me to “go get it if I want it.”

I’m not perfect and haven’t totally mastered this YET…but I’m getting there!

So the next time you hear of me passing up an opportunity to fly to California to photograph an A list celebrity, or choosing to pass up a weekend in the Bahamas to stay and photograph a couple from my home town, you’ll know why. Everything that’s good ain’t God. I’ve accepted that — and so should you.

– Joc

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