New Devotional: I Want to Be Like You
Three years ago I taught a packed-out workshop. Because I could not take questions during the class, I stayed after the workshop and answered questions at the book table. I could see in the crowd a woman who was obviously trying to get my attention. There were about 50 people lined up at the book table in front of her so I kept going with what I was doing assuming she would wait. She did not.
Just a few minutes later, that woman had made her way to the very front of the line. At that point, I knew it couldn't be good. She was very irritated and in front of everyone she said to me, "I'm going to do this."
I replied, "Do what?"
At this point, I'm confused. "Coupons?"
She replied, "No. I'm going to do what you do and I'm going to do it better."
"I know I can't get paid to do this and I know I"m better than you. Are you hiring?"
This is the point in the conversation where I could feel fire inside of me. Knowing that there were still about 50 people standing around in total shock, I had to choose my words very carefully. I don't get caught off guard by questions very often but I'll tell you, that one threw me for a loop and her attitude was much worse than the words. Aside from that, I kept thinking, 'Did she really just ask me if I was hiring??'
Shockingly, she went on to tell me that God had called her to do what I was doing and the reason was because she was better at it than I was.
I don't know about you but have you ever noticed some Christians have a tenancy to throw God's name out there when they want something? Obviously, many people are led by God and do know exactly what God wants them to do. I feel that way about what I do right now. But, I have seen so many people come up with some kind of plan and quickly put God's name on it so they can feel validated somehow.
That was the case with this woman. God never would have had her approach me in that way, I could see right through that. And, being that the situation occurred three years ago and not only does she not teach couponing, she doesn't even coupon herself, I would say that proved the point. (I know this because I have seen her many times since that incident.)
Have you ever watched someone and thought to yourself, 'I want to do that'? I know I have. But at that moment, you have a few choices. You can pray about that and ask God if he wants to develop that kind of gift in your own life or you can go out and be a copycat and try to let someone else's vision be your own.
Which plan do you think will work?
I am very grateful, at the time I began this business, I really did not have many 'models' to follow. That's a totally different story today, but at the time, there were very few coupon teachers and even fewer bloggers. In fact, when I began five years ago, I did not even know what a blog was so I built an actual website from the ground up. Not fun.
There is one person in particular in my life that I admire greatly and I can feel that we have very similar callings. However, the vision God has given to her is hers alone and not mine. God has a specific plan for me individually. Don't fall into the trap of trying to be someone else. That never works out for anyone. And, more likely than not, you have no idea what it took for that person to get to the point of success that you are seeing them.
The woman who approached me at that workshop had no idea what it had taken for me to get to the point of having sold out workshops. I taught quite a few workshops with less than five people in attendance...and those were just family members. I used to plaster flyers for my classes all over the place and had my family contacting every media outlet on the face of the planet. Teaching in the way I do is very much like being a band and doing your own promotion. You have to go out and find the people and that's what I did for hours every single week. Then, I prayed like crazy that people would actually show up. She never saw any of that.
It is so easy for us to look at successful people and want to be just like them but then when push comes to shove, we suddenly realize how much work is involved in that and give up. Why? Because God has not given you the grace to do the work needed to fulfill someone else's vision.
Did you get that?
God has given you the grace to get the work done to fulfill the vision in YOUR LIFE not the vision in someone else's life. Your call in life might actually be to support someone who does have a large call on their own life and that's great, those people are extremely important, and God gives you the grace to do that. Success takes work and a lot of it. But, you will not be able to reach success unless you have the grace to do the actual work.
You are you. God's vision for you in this life is not to chase after the vision of someone else. He doesn't want another copycat, the world doesn't need anymore of those. He wants to use YOU, the individual YOU, that he created uniquely and for his purpose.
No matter what your age and what choices you have made in this life, God still has a purpose for you and will give you the grace to get that purpose done. Stop chasing after someone else's dream and find your own. That is when success will come, when you realize your own calling and you rely on God to see that vision come to pass.
Stand out from the crowd. Be the Christian God has called YOU to be. Be a light in the dark.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD... Jeremiah 29:11