“Dear Applicant… Thank you so much for applying… Unfortunately” –
Umm unfortunately, I’m going to stop right there. I know what’s coming next. I don’t need to read the rest about how there was an extraordinary number of applicants this year and how you wish you could offer me a spot but regretfully cannot. I should have known when the correspondence started off with “thank you.” Yeah, that part. It’s like code for “thanks, but no thanks.”
Now before I settle into my feelings – I promise I haven’t already – I must declare one thing: your loss.
When I was studying to be an actor, a talented and wise professor instilled this idea into my class. She told us something to the effect of, “If you don’t get a part or they choose someone else over you, don’t let it get you down. Move on. It’s their loss.” Makes so much sense, right?
Well, nonetheless, this declaration, this tactic, this coping mechanism, is much easier said than honestly felt, especially after being denied for something you’ve worked hard towards and value as an asset in your journey. You keep saying, “their loss, their loss,” but you really feel like it’s your loss, and you just sit looking stuck, feeling like the crying Jordan face meme… No? … Just me?
Obviously, disappointment hurts. The Good Word even speaks to that. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: But when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 (KJV). Therefore, holding hope in something that doesn’t happen affects your entire being, your heart. It’s like being stabbed with each disappointment in life, rendering you weaker and weaker wound after wound, making it harder to endure because what affects the heart isn’t easily treated.
That idea brings me to this passage: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV). If everything you do flows from your heart, then walking around with a sick heart means that the sickness can bleed into and infect every situation in your life. That sickness can take many forms, such as fostering doubt, losing hope, living in sorrow and depression, and countless other toxic actions specific to your situation.
So what’s the solution? We have to guard our hearts above all else. Right. But how?
What I find helpful is having low expectations in things, opportunities, even people. I know that may seem inimical, but it’s surprisingly the contrary. Low expectations yield low disappointments. Low disappointments produce little harm, meaning a protected heart.
So, what? Are we just going to foster low expectations all the time? That’s kind of negative, Mike. Well, no. We definitely can have high expectations, but the only proper place where they should dwell are in God and the promises of God. The reason why is simple: God will never fail us, and He is not a man that He should lie. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
My habitual mistake when I was believing God for something was putting part of my belief in that something happening. And many times when that something didn’t come to fruition, there I was, stuck again, looking at God like He needs to get it together. But when we believe God for something, we must believe God, first, foremost, and only.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) This passage proves even if we ask for something and it doesn’t happen, we should be comforted knowing that God is willing to do exceedingly above even that. So, maybe that something is due at a later time or maybe something greater is on the horizon. God is committed to our success. So… we’re straight.
I know, I know. Enough of the sermon. Though, this was not my attempt at preaching; nor am I qualified to do so. I’m just living like everyone else, trying to find answers, make sense of things, and win. While doing that, I’ve found that the Word is the only undeniable truth and comfort, and the only approach to success that holds any real weight whatsoever.
Absolutely, God is dope. He created us to be dope. The proof is the fact that each one of us is different. He’s given us an immense variety of individual gifts, skills, and talents, and He’s committed to seeing us share them with the world. If we hold onto that truth and strive to think how He thinks towards us, then when facing rejection, denial, or dismissal, we must emphatically know that unfortunately, it really is their loss.