I was at the store picking up groceries a couple of months back. As I was standing in line, a mum with her daughter (who could not have been more than 17 or 18 years old) were standing behind me. I wasn’t eavesdropping (kinda), but from what I could tell, the daughter was working in a junior position as a graphic designer (however, not currently getting to graphic design). “I am a graphic designer—someone else should be updating the website,” she carried on and on. It got me thinking—there could be a dozen reasons why she wasn’t actually doing any design. I reckon it all boiled down to one question—was she expecting an opportunity she was simply not ready for?
At what point does imitation become more acceptable than the authentic? Or a result become more important than the journey? Here’s the point I want to make—when we get given an opportunity, especially fresh out of school or college, the scope of the opportunity far outweighs our experience. How do people typically respond? Some are willing to count the cost; to do what it takes and commit to walking the journey. Others get started and immediately become consumed by their title. They compare what they have or are doing with others around them. They want the results, perks, benefits, without yet having walked the journey.
Comparing ourselves to others can be dangerous and disillusioning. Authenticity demands a commitment to the process. My pastor recently tweeted something quite profound. He said, “Don’t want what someone else has got, if you are not willing to pay the price they paid.” I believe everyone has a God given gift or ability, but like the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-28), we don’t necessarily count the cost. One group is so consumed by the fear of failure that they settle for the familiar. The next group does make a conservative effort and do reap a portion of what they could. The last group boldly takes God at His word and trusts Him completely, doing whatever it takes in a godly fashion to honour what He has given them, to do more than they could have ever done on their own.
Where you are now does not equal where you have to stay. You are not called to a mediocre and meaningless existence. God has put in you the seed of something beyond what you can presently comprehend. From here you are faced with a choice. Are you willing to count the cost and commit to the journey? Or are you content with quick fixes and shortcuts that will only take you so far? Now is the time. Regardless of whatever stage of life you are at, commit to doing the journey.