If I Only Had...
Remember when the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz sang If I only had a brain? He believed all of his troubles would be solved if he could only get the one thing he was missing. He spent his life tied to a post while the world passed him by.
Aren't we all a little like the scarecrow? We stay tied to our posts (dead-end jobs, messed up relationships, failing finances, etc.) and never really reach our full potential, simply because we're waiting for the "perfect" situation. We say "If I only had:
But while we're waiting for the "perfect" life, our REAL life is passing us by.
What if we didn’t wait until everything magically fell into place? What if we checked out that group exercise class at our current size and didn’t worry about what people thought? What if we were good stewards with the money God blessed us with instead of splurging on unnecessary things? What if we prayed for our teenager as much as we complained about him/ her? And what if we began to prepare ourselves mentally, physically and spiritually for our godly soulmate now?
We have to stop saying ‘if I only had’ and instead remember God’s promises. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Be brave! Get off your post!
I encourage you to remove the words ‘if I only had’ from your vocabulary. Instead say 'I will!’ The life you want is within your reach, as long as you are willing to let go of your excuses.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Mark 9:23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Scripture: He turned over the plans for everything that God’s Spirit had brought to his mind: the design of the courtyards, the arrangements of rooms, and the closets for storing all the holy things…. (Scripture: 1 Chronicles 28:12, 20 MSG)
Many years ago. I ran a small writing group. Once a month we would all gather and share our poetry, some refreshments and lots of laughter. Then the director over our program relocated and someone else took over. Soon, a new writing group director was appointed (my ‘time’ was limited to two years) and I had to step down to allow the next person to have a chance to be the lead.
It was hard for me because I started the group. I promoted it, called people to remind them to come, passed out flyers in the community (this was before social media) and came to the venue early every month to set up. Even if only one other writer showed up, I was happy. I drove through snowstorms to get there and I spent many beautiful summer evenings indoors with my fellow writers. After two years of being the “leader”, I was beginning to feel burnt out. I no longer became excited for our monthly meetings. I was tired.
So when it was time for the next meeting, I asked if anyone else would be willing to step up and take the lead. My request was met with silence. Finally, someone spoke up and said “But YOU started it! YOU should be the leader!” I explained that I wanted someone else to have the opportunity to lead the group for awhile and that I would still attend the meetings and help out wherever I was needed. One of our younger members volunteered to take over. I supported her by attending each month, sharing the templates for the flyers and giving her ideas for writing prompts, etc. I eventually stepped away from the group altogether to pursue other things. And while it was bittersweet to leave the group I started, I was confident that I had left it with a strong foundation.
In the scripture above, David had spent a LOT of time planning what the temple would look like. But then he had to hand the plans off to his son Solomon for Solomon to build it. What do you think that did to David’s ego? I’m sure he was a little let down that he would not be the one to build it, but he also knew that was not God’s plan for him.
Whenever you are asked to step down from an assigned project so that someone else can have a chance to learn and grow, don’t take it to heart! See it as God giving someone else a chance to learn something new. Also see it as God giving YOU a chance to do something else. This usally happens when you have reached your potential in an assigned task, and now it’s time for you to set a new goal so that God can grow you even further.
As you start your day today, thank God for all of the opportunities He has given you, and thank Him for all of the opportunities He will give you in the future. And in the meantime, work as hard as you can in the work that you are assigned. This way when your ‘time’ comes, you’ll be ready.
Scripture: And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
I was already running late when I arrived to pick up the pizza for our fundraiser on Saturday. I had just finished officiating a wedding 40 miles away and was rushing to make it back on time. The line at the pizza counter was super long and once I got closer, I realized why.
There was a frazzled mom, along with her children, checking out RIGHT AT THE PIZZA COUNTER! She didn’t have a handful of items, she had a whole cart! As I stood there fuming, no one else seemed to be bothered, even the cashier was joyful as he rang up her 4,973 items.
I realized then that I was allowing something very small to take over my spirit. Sure, it was inconvenient to have to stand there for an extra five minutes, but the end result was a less- frazzled mom with one less stop to make on her way out of the store.
Doesn’t God treat us with the same joy and patience? Doesn’t He stand by while we figure things out? He doesn’t huff and puff when we take our time! So why couldn’t I offer the frazzled mom the same grace I am given?
My prayer is that I will learn to take a moment to be patient and thankful for ALL things, and to learn how to use our "waiting" time to extend grace to another. This is my life! And every moment, even the aggravated moments of standing at a pizza counter, is sacred.
Mama. Wife. Poet. Teacher. Maniac.