Everyone’s path to the stage they were meant to stand on is different.
My wife and I love watching “The Voice” together. The collection of talent is impressive, but the stories behind those voices capture my attention just as much.
The path that seems logical would be someone graduating from a fancy school of music, signed to an album contract of epic proportions, off to big stages, with big lights and huge audiences...overnight.
That just isn’t the norm. Nor does it reveal some of the most talented voices we’ve ever heard. It doesn’t touch the powerful stories of struggle overcome, craft honed, or relationships built along the way that have helped them get to where they are.
And in as much as we are talking about a singing show, this same thought applies to any other talent you possess. Whatever industry you are in, and opportunity you are working towards, there is a summit that is your calling.
Why am I writing this?
To encourage the person whose path to the summit of their calling has been different than most. To the person that has had to dodge falling boulders, slippery footing, and the weather conditions of frustration of not yet being at their summit.
But to that same person, there is something taking place that is preparing you to reach your summit. You've had experiences others can’t compete with. The jagged edges you've clung to, swung from, and leapt from, that helped you overcome a challenge that "the smooth and predictable path" your competition is on can't compete with. Because your path has allowed you to see sunrises and sunsets from a different point of view, you have a perspective you can teach from that others can’t. You understand how to leverage the sweat of hard work most quit because of, and you'll turn it into the dream you've always imagined.
How do I know?
That is my path, too.
What would you name your show?
I see you. Others see you. The lives of those you’ve impacted see you.
Just because a judge doesn’t turn their chair, a search committee doesn’t return an email, or an organization doesn’t bring you in for another interview, doesn’t mean it’s time to lay down and give in.
Your mountain has one summit, go take it.
The last thing you would want is to stop climbing because you are convinced you’ve reached it, only to find out it wasn’t it. What if the peak in front of you isn’t the summit you are called to? That means that you'll hear a "no" that you thought was your dream job, and you need to keep climbing. It wasn't your summit. It wasn't your moment.
I have a verse that keeps my climb on track.
It’s something that I carry with me everywhere I go, 24/7.
“Ponder the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were dug.” Isaiah 51.
To me it says, “Hey Brett, when you remember where you came from, you’ll be able to arrive where you’ve always been called to.”
I know, without a doubt, that the Lord saw fit to give me 3 things that I do well. There are about a million and one things I’m a hot mess trying, but these three things are simply part of my DNA.
To preach. To teach. To coach.
And so this isn’t just some vague inspirational blog post that feels cryptic, I’m going to share with you what’s on my heart today.
I'm going to say my dream in public, for the first time, right now.
I’ve coached soccer for nearly 20 years. My summit, my dream job, is to be the Head Coach of a College Soccer Team. I want my players to be scholar student-athletes in the classroom, win National Championships on the field, and be sought after leaders that know how to build healthy relationships, and create teams of influence in their community.
My journey, my climb, and my mountain is different than most. It’s prepared me to reach that summit…and I’m convinced now more than ever…that I’m a few short paces from that moment. But I have to tell you, that has also meant a lot of applying and not hearing anything. A lot of wishing, waiting, and wondering…only to find out it wasn’t going to happen. A lot of seeing announcements about hires that aren’t you. In fact…try this one on…I’ve never even been called in for an interview for a head coaching position. How’s that for full transparency?
But you know what?
It's going to happen.
I won’t stop applying, casting the vision for why teams I’ve coached over many years have been successful on the field, in the classroom, and in the communities they live in.
I won’t stop because I can’t.
I won't stop because I was made for this.
It’s my mountain.
It's my summit.
And at the end of the day, there can only be one "yes" anyway. So getting some "No thank you's" out of the way now is getting me ready to meet the University where my family is meant to be.
And although my path may be different, what I’ve learned along the way has prepared me to reach the summit. The summit of the perfect coaching job fit, that will allow me to chase my dream of watching my student-athletes hold a national championship trophy over their heads.
So today, I’m climbing.
If the phone doesn’t ring, I’ll keep climbing. If the interview doesn’t come, I’ll keep climbing. If the offer doesn’t happen, I’ll keep climbing.
Because I know my calling, I’ll keep climbing.
Even when I can’t see the outcome, because the fog of the unknown is heavy. Even when the rains of waiting are driving into my face so hard it feels like a million needles. Even when the temperature swings from sweltering heat of frustration to the unbearable cold of not hearing back. Even when sitting down and listing all the reasons why it won’t come to pass seems like a better idea than lacing my shoes up…and climbing in the direction of my summit...my calling.
What about you?
Your commitment to it.
Not sure you can continue?
Just when you think, when we think, we should quit...I want you to think about this:
As much as we are climbing for our dream, that’s not the whole story.
We are climbing for the impact it will have on those who are on this journey with us, around us, and can see us from miles and miles away.
The climb to our calling, is the inspiration someone will draw to tackle theirs.
And that is the greatest gift of all.
Climbing with a purpose greater than just reaching a summit we want to see. Climbing with a purpose that inspires others to overcome the doubt and fear to experience theirs.
Keep climbing today, my friend.
Someone you haven’t met yet needs the results that will come from it.
When our summit becomes someone else’s victory, that’s a beautiful thing.
That’s a heart to serve.
That’s the heart we were always created with, and given to share from.
Enjoy the journey.
It’ll make sense soon enough.