(My first time writing a parable. Bear with me.)
A man stands on a big rock in the midst of a river. The current is extremely aggressive, pushing large pieces of driftwood, large enough to carry him, downstream to the mouth of the river where the rapids relax, and the man can find comfort and safety.
Naturally, the plan is to wait for a big piece of driftwood, then jump on it and ride it downstream to refuge.
So the man prepares. He makes sure that his backpack is strapped firmly to his back, that way he doesn’t lose any of his food or water. He does his squats and lunges to make sure that when it’s time to jump, he won’t fall short. He stretches his arms to make sure that if he does happen to fall short, he can swim fast enough to catch the driftwood before it’s gone too far. He’s even said a prayer (can’t hurt.)
As he’s waiting on the edge of the rock, the water crashing all around him, he looks up and sees the most beautiful bird. He’d never seen anything like it, and as he stares he loses focus on the river and by the time he looks back at the water a big piece of driftwood has floated past him and is now too far to catch.
The man is disappointed. That was his shot! The man starts to stomp, and cry. He throws his arms around and curses the bird. He drops to his knees and bangs his hands on the rock.
“Why?” he cries. “What am I going to do now?”
And just then another piece of driftwood, bigger than the last, comes flying past.
But the man was on his knees crying. He was busy cursing the bird and stomping and throwing his arms around. He was not prepared this time to jump on the new piece of driftwood which would take him to his place of refuge. Had he just been patient and waited, focused, ready to jump…
I’m learning that the concept that opportunities come around once is usually false. I think that what happens is, once we miss one, or blow one, we allow that experience to rock us, and knock us off our square. WE change, not the amount of opportunities. If you mess one up, hold your form, and be ready to make another jump — a better jump — next time.