122. Preparing You For Greater

Right now, I have this song called "Greater is Coming" on repeat. This song, recorded by a then 15-year-old Jekalyn Carr, is probably one of the most powerful contemporary songs I've ever heard. Prophetic, too. Check out these lyrics:

If it had not been for the shaking, I never would’ve been ready for the making.

If it had not been for the beating, I would’ve never known how anointed I would be.

If it had not been for the pressing, I wouldn’t be able to walk into my destiny.

He’s preparing me for greater.
— "Greater is Coming" by Jekalyn Carr, 2013

Seriously, just think about what she's saying. The words are saying how every situation, whatever it may be, is preparing us for our next dimension. But, here's the hard pill to swallow: there will be work involved. Uncomfortable work. The next level requires preparation.

When we prepare, it doesn't always feel good. It doesn't feel good to wake up a little earlier when you're normally used to sleeping in. It doesn't feel comfortable when you have to put up with arrogant bosses or coworkers. It doesn't feel great to have to study for long hours when everyone else is posting their glamorous, jet-setting lives on social media. It can be quite frustrating to fail and fall flat on your face before the world. 

However, when you see that each experience in your life is about preparing you for greater things to come, you begin to see things in a more positive light. Now, I'm not saying to disregard the troubles in our lives and pretend like they're not happening. Nope. Not saying that at all. In fact, I'm saying that I want you to remember it. Remember how you felt, remember who was involved, and remember where you were. Then, I want you to remember how you overcame it. 

The moment you can look back on what you've been through and finally understand WHY those annoying people or that irritating job existed, you will understand how mastering those seemingly "minor" things in your life, prepared you for the major things. 

I can look back on my early 20s and remember when I worked in various jobs that were a bore. I would travel to downtown Houston every day and go through this mind-numbing routine at an investment banking firm. Keep in mind, this was during the time that I decided to take a 2.5 year sabbatical from college. And not to mention, prior to this time, I was one of those notorious people who could not keep a job. I could find a job like nothing, but if I was too bored, or if someone upset me, or if I "just didn't feel like doing something" I would quit in a heartbeat. 

But, during my college sabbatical, I was on my own. I didn't have anyone paying my bills, and I didn't want them to. It was time to grow up. I said to myself, "If your parents could get up and go to work every day even when they didn't feel like it, then I have to do it as well. Grown people work. If you want better, you have to work for it.

So every day, I did this routine. Get up, get ready, drive to work, enter check information into a database system in the accounting department, scan the check, and provide audit support. A writer in accounting? I was BORED.

But, it was steady. I was learning the basics. Learning how to commit to something. Learning how to work with people I didn't necessarily care for. Learning how to pay bills on time. Learning how to finish what I started. Learning how to deal with conflict. Learning how to develop a work ethic.

It seemed like the moment I began to get "noticed," for not missing days, for coming in early, for picking up extra assignments to help, or finish my projects, something happened. I moved on to the next level. After mastering the low level, I began to desire more. With my newfound work ethic, I took some college courses at the local community college, taking my books to work to study on break.

Soon, I ended up back at my alma mater, finishing school in 1.5 years. I was taking 21 hours in a semester and 18 hours over the summer to finish. If you don't know how crazy that is, well, I'm not sure how I could explain that. It was insane. I was in school literally all day between classes and studying. I ended up graduating at the university with honors for my major GPA. It all started with mastering the minor things, making a decision to build my character one moral brick at a time.    

Too many of us want more but we can't even be faithful over the little we have. As a matter of fact, we want more titles, prestige, money, praise, and opportunities, but we complain about the every day assignments we're given. You can't complain about working long hours and yearn to be an entrepreneur -- you know, that thing where long hours are required for your success to simply survive the emergent years. 

Everything you're going through right now is preparing you for something greater, which is why I'm declaring every opportunity as a blessing and not a burden. 

Remember to master where you are now, because it advances you to the next level. Just think of yourself as being inside of a video game. The reason why you can't get out of the first level, is because you haven't found a way to win. Figure out a way to win. Master it and advance to the next level. FIGHT!