A friend of mine told me about a talent show she was a part of on a church camp. Everyone was super-excited about it, especially the children. They so wanted to be involved, to be important, to have their moment of fame at the front of the room.
They thought long and hard about what their ‘talent’ was going to be. What they were going to do that would wow the crowd. Their imaginations went into overtime.
One ten-year-old boy said to his mum, ‘I know what my talent is. I’m going to get some sticks, set them on fire, and juggle them. Then, I’ll have a bucket of water behind me, and once I’ve finished juggling, I’ll throw the burning sticks over my head into the bucket of water to put them out.’
Now I’m telling you, that would have been very impressive. Amazing.
Especially since the child has never juggled before, and hasn’t played with fire much either.
Needless to say, his mother suggested that he think of something else.
The thing he actually did was also pretty impressive, even if it wasn’t quite as showy: He ate an entire bag of Minties (I don’t know how long that took.)
Look, it’s funny, but I see myself doing this in my own life.
Moz and I got engaged while he was still in his last year of high school. (I graduated the year before; I know, I’m a cradle-snatcher.)
When he first asked me to marry him we kept it very quiet. It was a secret from everyone.
Then the time came to ask my parents. They gave their permission, but they suggested (strongly) that we didn’t announce the engagement until after Moz finished high school.
I was so frustrated. Why couldn’t we share our good news? For that matter, why couldn’t we just go ahead and get married? What was all this faffing about for?
But I realised over the next few months that I wasn’t ready to announce our engagement. I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t done all the thinking through of what that would involve, what making such a huge change to my life was actually like. I knew we had made the right decision, but the timing wasn’t quite right. The four months between getting engaged and announcing it to the world were necessary for my mental health.
Right now I can make the same mistake with my writing. I would like my stories to take off, to be best-sellers. I would like my blog to go viral. I would love to be a household name.
Or would I?
Because every time a little bit of ‘fame’ comes my way I recoil. I get overwhelmed. I start to ask, ’Is this what I really want?’
I think God is being gracious by holding things back. I hope that one day I will be mature enough to handle a little bit of fame, and a larger number of book sales. But I want to wait until the time is right.
I don’t want to find myself onstage, hurling burning sticks in the air and hoping I can catch them without being hurt or hurting anyone else. There are things I need to put into place in my business and in my life, so that if I get my fifteen minutes of fame I will cope with it well and it will be a blessing to others.
For now, I’m learning to juggle. And Minties taste really good.
Is there something in your life that is waiting for the right time? Do you feel like good things are being held back? Is there a skill you need to learn so that when the time comes, you will be ready?