The Right Way

Many thanks to you all for your ongoing patience with me and the blog โ€“ I am finally feeling better, and I believe I am mostly caught up, although I still have lots of great posts of yours to read! I have missed you all, and look forward to catching up on your lives as well. ๐Ÿงก

For today’s gratitude post, I wanted to pause and offer a word of thanks for the dreams and burdens that the Lord lays on our hearts โ€“ even when those around us do not understand what they are.

Without going into too much detail, I found myself in a meeting regarding the community service initiative that I am trying to create. While I am not naturally a business-minded person, I thought it would be wise for me to sit down with a couple of people who are experts in this field, to better understand what my next steps should be (if any).

To me, this venture is an extension of ministry, and doesn’t necessarily need be formalized in some way. So I approached the meeting with a clarity of resolve and purpose, even if I wasn’t sure what my next step was supposed to be. Imagine my surprise when I ended up getting lectured by the advisors, informing me that I needed to focus on the mechanics of building a business (value proposition, market research, competitive analysis, marketing strategy, etc.). I’m not saying that these things are wrong in and of themselves — far from it โ€“ but I realized in that moment that we were looking at the same situation through two very different lenses.

My “value proposition” is to help people. It had not even occurred to me to think about competitors. If we’re all trying to help those in need, why focus on competition?

No, much of the conversation was about establishing and maintaining my competitive advantage, and making sure that I am a step ahead of my competitors (and my customers, too).

My head was spinning in a way. When did I suddenly start to have competitors and customers? When I simply said that I wished to put on some free community workshops through my local library, they looked at me in a confused way. They told me that even if I were functioning as a nonprofit, I still had to have revenue and a customer base.

I was a little confused, as I don’t necessarily believe this to be the case. The way God has shown me to move forward with this idea actually has no costs at all. So if I don’t have any fixed costs, and the people coming to my sessions (who would be at the library anyway) don’t have to pay anything either, why worry about what the alleged competition is doing?

(Or, as the saying goes, if you are a hammer, then everything around you start to look like a nail.)

If God wants to turn this into a more substantial business venture, then I trust He will show me what my next step is. For now, I will continue my research, and get involved with a couple of other nonprofits in the area that are already active in this field. What I want to create is a bit different than what they’re doing, but at least I can do something while I await further guidance.

The meeting wasn’t a loss, as I did gain some insight about next steps that are actionable. But the most important thing I realized is that not everyone is equipped to receive and support our dreams in the ways we would like. Some people are only able to speak to you through the lens of their own experience, and if what you bring to the table is different than that, then it’s easier for them to downplay what you are trying to accomplosh (rather than trying to understand what you wish to accomplish).

I left the meeting with mixed feelings, and sat with these emotions for the balance of the day. By the next day, I was resolved that I was still going to pursue this venture and would succeed โ€“ I just would do it the way God wants me to do it. His approach may involve some of the traditional methods that the mentors recommended, or it may not. Either way, I look forward to seeing how the Lord works in the situation — when this venture succeeds, I look forward to reconnecting with the business mentors to see if their opinion of my methods (or rather, the Lord’s) has changed at all.

Then I came across these verses in the book of Hosea today, and realized how much they fit the situation I have been experiencing. It’s amazing to me how the very thing that leads to growth and maturity in some can also serve as a stumbling block for others — especially those who think too highly of themselves (or their methods).

The way I see it, this idea came from the Lord, so He is the One duty-bound to carry it though — and I am excited to see what He does next. โœ๏ธ

22 thoughts on “The Right Way

  1. You are absolutely correct. If you do what He is leading you to do it will be done, the way HE wants it done. I feel sometimes the LORD will show us things(possibly this meeting) that are NOT the way He wants us to be so we can more clearly see the way He wants us to be. If that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh! ๐Ÿ’ก That does make good sense, Margaret. Thank you for this insight โ€”what does the Bible say about the wisdom of God being viewed as foolishness for those who are perishing? This is the passage that comes to mind when I think about your response. By Godโ€™s grace, may I stay focused on the wisdom of the Lord, rather than trying to heed the โ€œwisdomโ€ of man!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Amen. I had someone in a hardware store of all places trying to tell me that we should have hired him to fix our house. How God will send what you need right to your door, you just have to be willing to see. Mind you this gentleman didn’t offer to give me an estimate when he came to my house, he didn’t really even seem interested to be there. Like it was a waste of his time because at the time it was such a “small” job. He was being very facetious because he knows how I believe the LORD is in control. We discussed it that day he came to my house and he showed no interest in even doing an estimate. Now that it’s such a “big, expensive” job he kept saying “see the LORD sent you the answer in me, and you didn’t listen” and I kept feeling, not God’s love in what he was saying. The more he talked, I started feeling doubt about the contractor I have, not just because of what this gentleman was saying but since they have begun work, it’s been like herding cats. Hahaha ๐Ÿ™‚ The more he spoke the more I heard in my head, yes, the LORD can send the answer right to your door, OR the old evil one can send someone to the hardware store to plant doubt in your mind ๐Ÿ™‚ God will send us all kinds of signs. The devil sends stumbling blocks, and temptation. These people you met with could have been stumblingblocks/temptation, they also could be signs of what God doesn’t want you to turn His will for you into. You know, see them, this is not what I want this to be. You were there. You could feel which of the two that it was or both. Because I also feel the LORD can use those things the evil one tries to put in our paths to His Good advantage. To teach us what not to do. I guess to put it simply, you were there. You know what you felt. Those are the discernments for you to gage the situation you were in. You will do what the LORD wants, that I have faith in that ๐Ÿ™‚

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      2. This fellow in the hardware store does not sound like a good match. Beware of smooth-talking persuaders who try to bring you along to their way of thinking! The enemy has been using that tactic on us (especially us women) since the Garden of Eden.

        I now know how to pray more intentionally about your house repairs and the contractor overseeing the work. Keep m posted as you are able โ€” although I am still catching up on your blog posts). ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜

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      3. I agree. I am not particularly happy with the lack of progress at the house. It’s hard to find some one that keeps their word these days. I was told last week, more than a few times, I am on my way, or I will be there in an hour. The on my way turned into no one ever showing up. I will be there in an hour turned into 5 hours before he showed up. With not one apology. What can you do but pray and have faith because we know God will handle it.

        I appreciate your prayers Sister they will have great results, and soon this will be a distant memory. Praise the LORD.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I too have her just terrible things about contractors. A friend of mine had a tough time, when the contractor go to her house, and then refused to come back to finish the job. Such a terrible ethics! ๐Ÿ˜ž

        We have a family friend who is a contractor based here in California โ€“ while itโ€™s probably a longshot, I could ask him if he happens to know anybody who is based out of your area. However, I will not do anything unless you say that it is OK. I know things are busy enough for you as they are, so I donโ€™t want to add any more stress to the mix.

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      5. You are so kind and sweet ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately my hubby signed a contract with this contractor so we are kind of stuck with him. Unless we want another battle on our hands. It is what it is now. I just keeping asking the LORD to make this contractor do the right thing. The LORD will make a way. He always does.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. My prayer is this: that your contractors would have NO PEACE until every repair that is supposed to take place in your home is completed โ€” on time, and under budget.

        I am also adding a line in the prayer that the Lord will stir up the contractors to speak to you in a more professional, caring, and God-honoring way, too. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I must say I was heartened and encouraged by reading your post. What you learned in that meeting I too have found to be true. We all have these lenses and filters over our experiences that make us see the world a certain way. The wise and humble among us recognize these filters and give grace for people to be different. The foolish and proud are convinced their way is the only way and everyone must see the world as they do. Personally, I prefer wisdom and humility, a trait I see we have in common. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kudos on the lesson learned.

    Homer Les

    Liked by 1 person

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