I stood in my father’s office at the outplacement firm. He had retired from the ministry and decided he could be useful helping displaced people find their next jobs, their next life mission. As someone who had just gone down that road, he was uniquely qualified to mentor those who were recently let go, or who had decided it was time to move on.
I waited outside his office for our lunch appointment. Inside I could hear him counseling a man who was desperate for a job, any job. He had mouths to feed. He had bills to pay. He was willing to do anything. And he was ashamed that it had come to this. “I should be more. I should have more. I should have planned better. I should have known better.” On and on the man wailed.
My dad stopped him. Told him to “stop shoulding on himself.”
Then he said,
“Remember, they don’t find diamonds all ready to be put into necklaces and rings. And the best ones are not lying around on the ground waiting to be picked up. First, they turn the mine shaft or the riverbed into rubble. Then they take all that rubble back to a safe place and sort it out. The rough diamonds are carefully cut and polished into something useful. You are like that.”
The man stopped wailing. I moved in a little closer to eavesdrop. I needed to hear this, too.
“Look. Your life is rubble right now. You’re doing the right thing. You’re facing it. And the good news is, there are diamonds in your rubble. Diamonds you can sort out, polish, and use in a good way to help yourself and help your family. So, let’s stop all this recrimination, and let’s get to work. You’re better than that.”
As I watch all the mayhem this meltdown has created in our world, I think about that conversation a lot. We can’t have diamonds without rubble. We can’t find oil without digging for it. We can’t find a well by standing around and crying that we’re thirsty.
Everyone has rubble right now. Some more than others. Some more delayed than others. Some easier to handle. There is NOT ONE PERSON who is NOT affected by this current state of affairs.
Instead of wailing about the rubble, start looking for the rough diamonds. What can you polish? What can you toss? What can you do right now to sort things out? We will get there. We will all be forever changed by what has happened to our world. My late father’s message still resonates in my brain: “Let’s stop all the recrimination and let’s get to work. You’re better than that.”
Blessings to you and yours during this interesting journey,
© 2009 Beth Terry Seminars, Inc.