Tomorrow is for rent

Derek Ouellette —  January 29, 2013

Have you ever had an experience where it seemed a great opportunity had suddenly dropped in your lap and you leap on it with all your energy only to discover, as you reach to take hold of it, that it has become annoyingly translucent. It’s there, it’s in front of you, it’s on your lap. But it has become opaque. You can see it, feel it in your chest even. But when you try to take hold of it your hands frustratingly pass right through. What seemed so tangible, so close, so real, might as well be a galaxy away.

Have you ever experienced that?

Then the doubts begin.

Did I not do enough to take hold of it? Maybe I didn’t jump on it quick enough. Maybe I jumped on it too quick. Perhaps I did too much. Did I chase them away by coming off as desperate? What did I do wrong? How can I correct it?

Worry and fear turn to depression and blame.

That was me recently. Last week an opportunity came up which would have changed our lives. It was exciting and presented an amazing adventure for our very near future. I wasted no time jumping on it. It seemed to close, so tangible. Then, when I thought it would produce fruit, Friday came and went without a phone call. My wife and I planned what our future would be if this opportunity turned to fruition. We considered the pros and the cons. We consoled ourselves that maybe they didn’t get to my paperwork. Maybe they were out of the office.

So the weekend came and went, and we dreamed of the possibilities.

Perhaps Monday they’d call? But nothing. We knew that either it was going to happen fast, or not at all. It was just one of those types of opportunities.

And I prayed. I mean, I prayed hard and all the time. “God, pleeeaassee have them call me. Pleeeaassseee!” Yes, I resorted to begging.

By Monday evening I had slipped into a complete state of depression. You know the kind? Where you can feel it in your chest. You can’t muster a smile if you tried. You don’t even want to try. And you’re not very conversational.

And of course I began to question. Could I have done more? Did I do too much?

Then I woke up this morning to a “ding” from my iPhone. Seth Godin had written another blog. I sat up and read it:

You don’t own attention or trust or shelf space. You don’t even own tomorrow’s plans.

It’s all for rent, with a cancellation clause that can kick in at any time.

The moment you start treating the rental like a right, it disappears.

This prophetically spoke into my situation. I was treating tomorrow as though I owned it. As though it owed me something. As though it was mine and it had no right to play hide and seek with me. And I was reminded that the moment you treat what’s not yours as though it were, it disappears.

And today was my first day of peace since Thursday.

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Derek Ouellette

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a husband, new dad, speaker, writer, christian. see my profile here.
  • Wade

    Thanks, Derek, I needed this. I’m in roughly the same situation as you are, only I made my jump eight months ago, and things have not developed as planned. There have been times that God has seemed silent, and I’ve felt like Job. My prayers are with you. God is good.