A year has passed since I had a conversation with a colleague about people being let go at work because of the economy. The subject came up because I heard a rumor that she was on the list. I boldly proclaimed, “That’s impossible, you are too valuable.” Her reply surprised me as she said, “Everyone is replaceable.” I’m thinking, “No way, not you, not now, not ever!”
Everyone is replaceable. Though painfully true, none of us want to admit it. We are important. Our skills are needed. Our lives have value. We make a positive difference everyday within our sphere of influence. We certainly are not replaceable.
This statement stuck with me and has challenged me to look at things differently. It caused me to evaluate the reality of my own self-worth. I used to think some things wouldn’t or couldn’t get done without me. And yet, when I’m not there, things do get done. I was out of work for close to six weeks after my car accident. Yes, it was extra work for those who filled the gap, but they successfully managed. And if I wasn’t able to go back to work, my boss would have hired a suitable employee to take my place.
We all come to times and seasons in our lives where our ability to be as productive as we once were diminishes. This should not be sad or disappointing as long as we do our very best at each point in our lives. For example, when I was younger, I was a very good athlete. As I’ve aged, it is no longer possible for me to keep up with those several years my junior. I’ve been replaced. Though once an asset, I needed to step aside for the good of the team. This wasn’t a death sentence; I simply found other productive things to do. Creative things, like writing and painting, which push me onward and give me a sense of worth. As long as we live, being replaced doesn’t have to be permanent. There is always something we can do. And, we should strive to be the best we can be in whatever it is we find to do.
If life throws us a curve and we get sidelined, it’s not about being replaced, but rather how we handle our lives moving forward. This makes me think of Jarryd Wallace. He was an outstanding runner in high school and dreamed of running for the USA in the Olympics. But then he began to have medical problems and eventually lost his right leg. This stopped him for a season and almost destroyed him, but God intervened and showed Jarryd that he still had purpose. From that point, he made up his mind to keep running with a prosthetic leg. Through years of pain, adjustments, and hard work, he’s now running for the US Paralympic team and doing fantastic.
(For Jarryd’s complete story and achievements you can go to http://www.aleginfaith.com/)
Even if we get replaced or things don’t work out the way we want them to, we must make up our minds to be productive in the situations in which we find ourselves. This will not only benefit us, it will be an encouragement for others to work through their own pain or disappointments, to realize they still have worth.
So it’s true: “Everyone is replaceable.” However, just because one season in our lives comes to an end, it doesn’t mean that God is finished with us. We must be willing to look for that new door of opportunity and walk through it. To work through our struggles, insecurities, or even health issues, to discover what God has next, because every season has a purpose!
I’m the author of: Created to be Creative
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