In my daughter's elementary class, the students are required to submit a job application each month for various classroom responsibilities. There's the classroom manager (line leader), Payroll (the one who passes out the pretend money each week for jobs well done), Banker (who breaks your big bills into smaller ones), Distributor (who passes out papers) and so on. The students later get the opportunity to take the "money" they have earned and exchange it for prizes. I thought the whole concept was cute at first, teaching the kids responsibility, asking them to get letters of recommendation, reminding them of the value of a dollar, etc.
As an accountant, I was on board with this whole little economics lesson.....until today....
Today was the day that my little bundle of joy applied for the Classroom Manager position for the 4th time.
THREE TIMES she has turned in her application, carefully listing the traits that make her the best pick for the position. 3 times she has secured letters of recommendation from her Girl Scout troop leaders, directors of one of our local colleges, and even the Vice Principal of her school! And yet, 3 times the position has gone to someone else.
So you can imagine my surprise when this morning she presented her application to me AGAIN (for the 4th time) and it said....you guess it: applying for classroom manager! My heart sank for her. Inside I was screaming, "Why are you trying again? This has been unsuccessful three times! It hurts me when you're disappointed. Just quit! Just pick another position so you won't come home sad again."
But instead, I signed her application and went to a corner and marinated on what this moment had shown me: Often times in life you will have the opportunity to be someone's traffic signal. You will get to be the resounding voice of wisdom in their ear that gets to push them, motivate them, remind them to keep going forward and why they should keep going forward. When that opportunity arises, make sure you are not thwarting their vision because of your own blurred sight. Meaning, be sure that you are not imparting your own insecurities, fears or doubts on them. Don't be the reason someone loses that internal fight to press on, just because you yourself tapped out in a faith fight once before.....Don't be the one to say, "Girl, you know your past-- is he really going to dateYOU?" or "You've tried to quit smoking 6 times, what is going to make this time different?" Instead be the light---be the "candle that loses nothing by lighting another." Be the one to say, "You can do all things, anything you put your mind to." Be the one to lift them up, not tear them down, no matter how big or small, how scary that leap of faith may be.
And even in the conversations you have with YOURSELF--- So what if you've started school 4 times and never finished? This 5th time could be the one time you see through to the finish line!You may have given up on ever finding love, make today the day you decide to open your heart again. We are 3 months into the new year, maybe you have already fallen off of your work out regiment even though you were adamant about it back in January. Decide today to jump back into those planks and crunches and burpees. You may be applied for the same position twice, make today the day you vamp up your resume and go for it again! Maybe you've been dreaming of owning a home or having a child. Maybe you've been wanting to stop a bad habit or see a change in your child's grades or begin a new diet or reach after a dream. It doesn't matter who told you "no" or how many times they said it. It doesn't matter how long you've been pursuing your goal or how long of a break you took from that pursuit. Make today your new beginning.
Make today the day you decide to start all over and this time see it through!