Jan 31, 2024
What do you call it when your certain plans are suddenly upended? They're changed with no warning? You call it a God-stop. On this week's Keepin' It Real, Cam shares his experiences with them.
A friend told me a story about how he had applied for a job a long way from home. His potential new employer had said they were going to make a very attractive offer. My friend and his wife began discussing selling their home and moving their kids to a new school. It was certain to happen and then…it didn’t. The job offer never came. His calls to the new employer to get an answer or a simple explanation went unanswered. “I’ve been in business a long time,” he said, “and no one had ever disrespected me like that before.” He had already left his former employer and was now jobless. He was crushed and wondered what he was going to do.
Over lunch my friend told me the business he was now a part of was about to sell and some of the sale would come his way. The new role had been a perfect fit for him. His talents soared there, his skills were cherished, and his team had come to not only rely on him, but to really like him. It was the best job he’d ever had, he told me.
“What about the other job? The one they never called you back?” I asked. “It was a God stop,” he said. “That’s the only explanation I have.”
A God stop. Where a part of the Master’s plan is to firmly close the door on what we thought was certain. A divine interruption. No explanation can be offered other than the supernatural. How many God stops have each of us had? Lots, I suspect. And in hindsight, they’re always for the best.
Yet that’s the very problem with God stops. It’s only in hindsight that we recognize them. In the moment, they’re agonizing. They feel like abandonment. They feed our uncertainties and escalate our fears. In the moment, they’re awful. And we don’t recognize them as God stops. They look and sound and feel like failure.
My focus in such instances is too often on what didn’t happen. The narrative I had created in my mind of what I wanted, of what I thought was certain, was beautiful. It was leading me to the land of milk and honey. I struggle to focus on what might now happen because I was so embedded in narrative I had created. Perhaps this new destination will be even greater.
If we lived in the now, as countless sages have told us we should for millennia, God stops would never cause a problem. If we could manage our imagination, God stops wouldn’t feel like disappointment. Instead we – or at least I - live in the future with a runaway imagination and I often struggle whenever my plans meet a God stop. I focus on the door that’s just closed instead of stepping back to find a new door that’s standing wide open.
The goal, I guess, is to recognize the moment for what it is. It’s not failure. It’s not a loss. It’s a God stop. And somewhere nearby a wide open door is waiting for me.
I’m Cam Marston and I’m just trying to Keep it Real.