The biblical story of Joseph has always resonated with me, and does so even more the older I become. It asks the questions, how do you gracefully handle being at level c knowing you are meant for level z? How do you protect a gift that you are eager to share and use to help others, when it seems others want to use it against you? How do you bounce back from setbacks that make you feel like you are starting from the beginning over and over again? How do you deal with your mere presence being a problem, and you’ve done nothing wrong? How do you handle favor that you didn’t even ask for?
Joseph was very different than the people around him, but in my opinion his difference was not the problem. His first issue began because his words were misunderstood. This is why as much as you want to share your thoughts, dreams, and plans with others, in a lot of instances you can’t. It will only frustrate you in the long run. You will end up trying to figure out why your dreams bother so many, even if they have their own, and have been given the same opportunities. While watching television Sunday morning I heard a Pastor say, “Sometimes when you win, people think they lose.” And knowing your dreams, may only give them the ammunition they need to throw you in a pit.
Like Joseph, I too am learning how to handle my gift. At times it can seem I am constantly discovering areas I need to improve in, and that I am never going to get better. But then I remind myself, as painful as it is to address areas of weakness, it is much better to face them head on and begin to make some changes than to ignore them. However, the challenge that I have most in common with Joseph is learning how and when to be quiet. Even though I am already selective with my words, because I am a natural conversationalist, I may have to go above and beyond in this area. And, when it feels like there is no human connection when I would like to have it, if the opportunity presents itself, to not be so eager to pursue it.
Most importantly, what I have discovered in this process is just because I happen to perceive something as small, doesn’t mean it is perceived the same way by others. It should not be disregarded, and may have a much larger significance in the future. Getting a grip on this behavior could make all the difference in my journey to the palace or level z a pleasant one, or an extremely bumpy ride.
Rachel Bryant Lundy