One of the loves of my life is my dog Sophie. She is ten years old and has us well trained. Dogs are very much creatures of habit and most are easily trained. Sophie is no exception. Periodically throughout the day, she gets baby carrots as a treat between meals. She always gets two carrots. As I drop the first carrot on the kitchen floor, she waits expectantly for the second carrot to drop. Once it does, she grabs both carrots and runs to the dining room to savor them in peace. A couple of days ago, I decided to give her three carrots because one of the carrots was so small. I dropped the carrots and walked away as I always do. I re-entered the kitchen a few minutes later only to find the third carrot still laying on the floor. Hmmm. As I considered the third carrot on the floor I came to a realization. Sophie is so used to only getting two carrots, that she has become trained not to look for more; even when it is right in front of her.
I would consider myself a planner. Over the course of my adult life, I can truly say that most of the major experiences in my life I have expected because I have planned for those experiences. One of the benefits of being a planner is that you limit the unexpected. When the unplanned or unexpected occurs, it is less likely to be catastrophic because you are only managing the crisis versus the entire event. On the contrary, the disadvantage of being a planner is sometimes you eliminate spontaneity. You eliminate the potential for what could turn out to be a pleasant surprise. You often eliminate the unexpected. We run the risk of missing great opportunities because we are only looking for what we have planned. We are only looking for what we have trained ourselves to expect.
A few years ago, I published my first book, Faith to Conquer Fear: Inspiration to Achieve your Dreams. This was not an event that I planned. You would have never convinced me even five years ago that I would be an author, but Thank God for the unexpected. Since I published the book, the trajectory of my life has changed. I have shifted from being solely focused on my corporate job to recognizing my true passion and purpose of inspiring people to walk in their purpose and follow their God given dreams. All my life, I knew there must be more. However, until I opened my eyes to see more than I was trained to see, I was simply existing and going through the motions. This is where many of us are today. We think about starting a business. We think about going back to school. We think about starting a ministry. We think, we hope, and we wish, but we take no action. We are so focused on what we can see; the tangible, that we do not use faith’s eye to see what is next.
Sophie eventually came back and ate the third carrot. Had I chosen to pick up the carrot, she would never have had the opportunity to take advantage of the bonus I offered her earlier. Here is the lesson. As you reflect on your life and your accomplishments to date, what opportunities have you left sitting there? What dreams and goals have you left untouched because you believe it is more than you can have? Go back and get it! God is a restorer. Your time is not lost. God is a responder. Once you make the first step to show him you are serious, he will move on your behalf. Go back and get what is next for you!