“The race is not given to the swift but to those who endure till the end.” I’ve heard people quote variations of this saying like a Bible verse, but the actual verse in Ecclesiastes 9:11 says “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” No matter who you are, time and chance are going to happen to you and your plans. There comes a point when each of us realizes that not everything in our lives is going to come out just the way we pictured it. After that point, we must go on to realize that it’s absolutely okay.
Sure, time and chance have happened to me. Considering what will soon be three decades of my life, not everything has gone the way I’ve wanted it to so far, but I’m aware that the hitches in my plans haven’t put the universe and the story of the world out of whack. Folks have been making plans for their lives for thousands upon thousands of years. Some of the plans have been fulfilled, some of them haven’t, and the order of things continues through it all. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” and “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 and Genesis 8:22).
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Even when my plans don’t turn out as I’d like, I know that I’m still heading through and toward what’s ultimately good for me as someone who loves a God Who means for everything to work together for my good (Romans 8:28). When God “means” for something to be for our good (“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” [Genesis 50:20]), it means that He “weaves” or “plots” what happens for our good, according to the Hebrew definition of the word châshab (“meant”) in Genesis 50:20. The good and the bad, the simple and the complex, our plans that turn out and the ones that don’t— God weaves all of it into something that’s worth living for.
Because the order of things is continuing on, I know that hitches in my plans don’t mean it’s the end of the world. I choose to keep on dreaming and to keep finding ways to work at and work out what I truly desire, taking energy I could spend in lamenting over what I wish I had and using that energy to be productive with what I have already. EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO WORK WITH. As for me, I work with my deep passion for literature, with my love for language and stories. Of course, it’s not the sum total of all I am or all that I do, but even without many of the major breaks that countless authors wish for, I’m living my dream.
See, the realization of a dream isn’t a destination, some single spot to reach. It’s a journey. We can be so busy waiting for the feeling of that one, huge “Dream Come True” moment that we don’t recognize our dream is coming true already— or it could be, if we would make the most of the opportunities right in front of us and be thankful for them.
Never say or think there is absolutely nothing you can do, no progress you can make toward your biggest dreams and deepest hopes. If your life isn’t the way you imagined or planned for it to be at this point, gratefully work with the life you do have. Don’t miss it. There’s something precious in it. Instead of sitting in regret about all that you wish was different, figure out how you can make a difference right now. If you have a true desire, a true passion, then there is indeed something you can happily, successfully do about it. There is a way you can live now according to your dream.
Scripture verses taken from the King James Version of The Holy Bible, for poetic reasons. 🙂