When did you last think, “What an amateur, who would pay him?” or “Someone needs to take her aside and tell her that she’s never gonna make it.” or “What a _________ person.” (insert lazy, stupid, hurtful, annoying, lousy, or similar descriptive.)
I often wonder what folks who met me at the beginning of my professional career might think if they ran into me today. “Who would hire her? She was okay, but wouldn’t come to mind as an expert or transformational.”
No One Starts At the Top
We all start in the same place. The truth is, no one begins at the top. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t taken a wrong turn, screwed up, apologized, and had to suck up their bruised ego to try again or muzzle the voice tempting them to quit.
People who change the world have awkward beginnings. No matter who I meet or where they are in their journey today, I remind myself how people who knew me when might look at me now. Will they give me fresh consideration or judge me by what they saw 10, 20, 30, or 40 years ago?
Judging By the Past Can Backfire
- David didn’t begin as a king.
- Moses fled.
- Joseph didn’t stay in the pit or prison.
- Peter denied Christ.
- Saul became Paul.
Give grace and remember where you started. And, if you’re not where you want to be today, be comforted with the simple truth that this isn’t judgment day.
Offer encouragement to everyone.
Today’s shepherd may be tomorrow’s king.