What To Do When Your Ambitions Exceed Your Reach

Yesterday, I realized that I needed to re-learn, unlearn old and learn many new things to perform well in my job. And who doesn’t want to perform well, right? Question is, however, why do I want to perform well again? It should not be for self promotion or aggrandizement, but simply being excellent for the Lord – doing what I could, by His grace, and asking Him to take charge of the results. Resting in Him and in His abilities, even so if mine are limited. He is, after all, the source of promotion.

Because of what transpired in my previous seasons, I note some differences within me. I used to be conscious of CYA (cover your ass) tactics, having been warned not to trust people; yet I’m finding myself regaining trust in others once more. This is good because CYA tactics are tiring. I guess ultimately, it’s not a matter of trusting in others, but trusting in the Lord that He will protect our ways, despite and in spite of any man. (This said, there is a reason why I did not learn of the concept of CYA until my 2nd job after law school – motto was simply do what you need to do, with excellence. And as my dad, in his better moods, would say, “let your efforts count as rewards in themselves”).

The way I used to work in my past 2 companies too, I vascillated between trusting others’ capabilities and commitments that they will deliver versus thinking that they’re unable to deliver based on how they communicate. None of these additional annoyances are currently present. Nor is there an inner compulsion to correct sentence structure or grammar, because folks communicate well. Which is but excellent.

Because there’s a 2 to 3 year glide path to the next level, I don’t feel pressured as much to perform for the sake of being calibrated well for promotion. And because people are promoted based on merit, I do not feel the pressure to suck up or network, for promotion. Nor do I see others as competitors. I simply just need to do my job well. Utopia, isn’t it?

I’m very thankful for the elimination of those unnecessary baggages. Yet, I realize that the job, itself, is not a walk in the park. The non-compliance issues are themselves, complex. I truly need God’s help and wisdom!

Today’s devo is indeed very timely. Sharing excerpts:

Did coming up short of my own expectations bother me? Absolutely.

The irony, of course, is that my book explores why struggle can be good for our souls, and that sometimes, to paraphrase the Rolling Stones, it’s better to get what we need instead of what we want. I still believe this principle is true, even if I hoped it wouldn’t apply to me.

This was a lesson in poverty of spirit – the grace of embracing not only our abilities, but also our limitations as opportunities to grow in self-awareness and faith, a reluctant acknowledgement that we often cannot dictate the outcomes of our efforts.

As German Catholic theologian Johannes Baptist Metz has observed, “We are all members of a species that is not sufficient unto itself. We are all creatures plagued by unending doubts and restless, unsatisfied hearts.”

We are, in other words, proud people who attempt at every turn to minimize our reliance on God and inflate our sense of self-importance. When our dreams exceed our reach, we have a choice. We can lose heart and despair. Or we can say thank you and wait for further guidance.”

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In my favorite amplified version, these verses are translated as follows:

Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong.
– James 4:13-16 AMP

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O Lord, only you are able to enable us to live a life according to Your will. I ask for Your wisdom and favor, knowing You are with me, You are for me, and You give wisdom unsparingly to all without finding fault. I believe, Lord, that You will infuse in me such Godly wisdom, downloads of fresh ideas that spark out-of-the-box thinking. Help me, Lord, I rely on You. My confidence is in You, not in my abilities or past experiences. Thank You.

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