The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. – John Burroughs
Yesterday, Philip called and said, “They want to come on Thursday.” They were not friends coming to dinner or someone dropping off a bouquet of the vibrant tulips I find myself craving. Nope, they are the barn-building company that we’ve hired, the company who we expected to come in mid-April.
I looked outside at the mass of red mud that is the barn site and watched the rain drop into the corner puddle. Philip said, “I told him it was going to be muddy, and he didn’t think that would be a problem.”
I glanced over at the stack of paperwork for the loan we needed to finish for the barn payments, the loan for which we had not yet applied, and I said, “We need to tell him that we may not have the final two payments right away.” Then, I called Dad, who assured us we were okay, and Philip called the barn man, who told us not to worry about the payments.
So they are going to start on our barn tomorrow.
One thing that farming keeps reinforcing is that much of life is beyond our control.
A lot of the business, marketing, how-to advice out in the world these days seems to be focused on “making opportunities.” It’s a “If you want it, then kick the door down to get it mentality.” I’ve certainly done my fair share of door-kicking, and honestly, usually I just end up with a sprained knee and a lump of disappointment lodged in my throat.
I’m learning – and will probably always be learning – that life is made up of saying “yes” to the opportunities that rest behind the open doors of my daily life. I’ve decided that I’m going to look for two kinds of doors:
- those that are wide open
- those I can nudge open with a gentle tap of my toe.
The rest of the doors – the doors that unlock only when I speak some secret “sales” language of inspiration and promise, the doors that unlock when I pound on them until the person on the other side finally relents and turns the key, the doors that are held fast shut for me because, really, I should not go through that door – those can stay locked up.
I’m relinquishing control of all those locked doors and trusting – with a tiny seed of faith – that if they need to open for me, they will. I’m SO TIRED of trying to control my career, my schedule, my sales. I’m worn down by trying to “make” opportunities. So I’m not going to anymore.
The fact of the matter is that I can’t control anything beyond my daily life, and even then, the barn company might call with a surprise opening in their schedule. So I’m learning to loosen my grip on plans and goals and trust that by saying YES to the things that come my way, I will find life more abundant than anything I’d ever find locked behind some door that I tried to pry open.
Tomorrow, Nate and his crew will come by to drop off supplies for the barn, and I will sit here at this window and watch while I write. I could not be more excited that we said YES when this door opened.
Ever feel like you’re trying to kick open a locked door?
One exciting outcome of the fact that our barn will be done earlier is that Shawn Smucker’s reading on April 13th will now include the barn – as venue and shelter if needed. We hope you’ll join us for this great night with a bonfire, potluck, and a reading from Shawn’s new book, The Day The Angels Fell. The event is FREE and great for all ages.