Sunday, May 21, 2017

Third Post: Opportunities NOT Taken

Blog 3: Opportunities NOT Taken

Back around 2002 my supervisor and library director decided he wanted to retire.  My husband told me to go for the position.  I was one of two librarians with their MLIS (Masters in Library and Information Science) degree.  The other two female staff members had worked in libraries for years and were working on getting their MLIS, one class a semester and were a little over half-way through the program.  But I decided that I wouldn’t go for it, out of respect for the one woman I knew would go for the position and I felt deserved it.  She had worked at our library for around 10 years or so, was the assistant director, was working on her MLIS, and I felt she deserved to have the position.  My husband said I could do what I wanted, but said he thought I would later regret the decision not to.  I told him that I would go for the assistant director position instead when she became director. 

Well, the woman got the director position and I went for the AD position, but so did the other librarian and other staff member.  I spoke to the new director and she told me that she definitely wanted me to be the new AD.  I waited, the VP of the college was taking his time making the decision, of course I knew the new director had some say in it as well.  I asked the new director when the decision would be made, but she had no clue.  So, I emailed the VP of the college a few times asking him.  He NEVER responded.  I was a little ticked to say the least.   My emails were ignored and this was a Christian College, so I thought I would at least be given the common courtesy of an answer, but the answer never came from the VP, the way it should have and eventually I would have to come to the realization, that the no answer meant “No”.

Does God want us to give up a job opportunity to someone who you feel may be MORE deserving?

Well, I think that we should always “put our hat in the ring” so to speak, especially since God gave us gifts/talents and if we look at our talents and the parable that Jesus told about them, we know we shouldn’t “bury” our talents.  Burying them, doesn’t lead to the growth of God’s Kingdom, or for us, because we’re not putting the talents He gave us to potential use when we don’t even go for the opportunity given. 

You're not being insensitive to the other people going for the position.  I felt that way, that they deserved it more than I did and I didn't want to take that away from them.  But if it's His Will, then it will happen.   If the job opportunity that I had was still meant to go to the woman who got it, she would have gotten it anyway, even if I was in the running. 

I think many of us, if not all of us have done this before and then afterwards we play the “What if?” game and nearly drive ourselves crazy wondering for the rest of our lives, “What if I had gone for that job? Where would I be now professionally?  What kinds of opportunities would it have opened up for me?  Years later looking back on it, I wish I had applied for the job.  Where would I be today?  Still living in Florida? Maybe or maybe a director of a library up North where I live now.  At least if I had tried and not gotten it, I would have known, rather than wondered all of these years “What if?” and also wondering about the resulting possibilities.   Who knows? That’s why I’m saying you have to take those opportunities when they are presented. 

DON’T bury your talents!
You CAN’T win if you DON’T play—right?
You will NEVER know if you DON’T try!

In the parable, Jesus tells about a master that gives talents (money), to three of his servants.  To one he gives five talents, to another he gives three, and a third, he gives one.  The first two invest their talents and they increase, the third buries the talent and of course nothing happens. 
God has given us all “talents” or gifts to expand His Kingdom, but if we don’t take what we’re given and use it, then we are not showing our trust or appreciation for the gifts He has given to us. 
You have confidence in you children, your husband, your friends, don’t you want to see them succeed?  Don’t you know how special and wonderful they are?  It’s a shame when we see loved ones NOT doing what they were meant to do, because of fear, or laziness, or whatever other excuse we can come up with, so DON’T put that type of pressure on yourself and DO it!!!!

We’re ALL good at something.  For me, I’m great at talking, a lot--more than my kids would like most of the time, but I don’t think any business would really pay me for that.    I’m also good at helping others, particularly customer service in libraries and I do well with writing/editing/proofreading.  Because of this, I’ve decided start my own editing service, where I hope to help students and others with their papers, resumes, cover letters, etc.   I’m hoping to make this into a full-time job that someday I’ll be able to do with flexibility and no worry.  Needless to say, I’m doing a lot of praying, but I figure “why not me?”  I am a lot more personable than some online editing service, and I know my customers, because I’ve worked with students for over 21 years in libraries and understand a lot of their struggles. 

Where do your strengths lie? 

What are you good at doing? 

What do you want to do?

What has God given you to expand His Kingdom, that you are burying?

If you’re not sure where your strengths are, my suggestion is to pray about it and do a little research on yourself.  Taking a personality test or reading a book on personalities, may be helpful to you in your pursuit. Also, talking with your friends and family can also give you an outside perspective that maybe you never thought of before.
If you’d like to take the Myers-Briggs test, it may give you some insight to what your strengths are. 
Take the chances given to you, so God will look at what you DID with the gifts He gave to you and say “… Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!” (Matthew 25:23 NIV) 

May the Lord Bless you all and have a great week!
Many blessings,