My dad was a salesman. Even so, I grew up hearing war stories--about flight school and World War ll. (He was a fighter pilot in Burma.) After the war, he became a stunt pilot and Air Force recruiter. He met my mom in New York during an air show, but my fashion model mother didn't want to be a military wife. So, the former Major John (Jack) Lewis spent the rest of his life selling things, mostly insurance.
He said sales was a numbers game, and rejection was part of the play. You had to make a certain number of calls to get a sale. Sure, talent and preparation helped. But the principle part was perseverance. The guys who ignored the no's, the guys who thought 'no' meant 'not yet,' the guys who never gave up... they won, and they won big.
The entertainment industry works the same way, but it's harder.* The odds are longer. Sure, talent and preparation help, but the principle part is perseverance. Sometimes, when I travel for AMTC, a parent or performer will ask this question: 'What's your success rate?'
If I'm feeling spunky, I may answer the question with a question: 'What's your definition of success? Because my definition of success is Jesus. If I'm following Him and His call on my life, I succeed. I win, and I win big.'
The inquisitor might respond, 'OK, sure. But how many people has AMTC placed into careers?'
My best answer: 'None. God is our Placement Department, and He's doing an amazing job. Take a look at our website.'
Maybe they're smiling, but think, 'Is she evading the question?' Not really, and here's why: Even before I became a Christian, I would have said this: 'I have never seen one performer who didn't succeed, as long as he or she didn't give up. Unfortunately, most of them do.' I didn't know what I was saying was godly, but it is.
Because God promises success. Yes, the timing is His: a performer may wait a little or wait a lot. God also gives prerequisites for His success. They include: 1) Loving Him first, 2) Following Jesus closely, 3) Humility, 4) Faith, 5) Courage and 6) Patience. But if you meet these conditions and don't give up, success comes without fail.
'Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty Hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time' (1 Peter 5:6).
King David gave us a personal demonstration of the process. Cast in a starring role as a teen, he didn't get to play the part until he was thirty. In between, David endured testing and trials--with far more rejection than success. But he persevered and became Israel's greatest king, prior to Jesus.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotion on Rejection (published 7/16/11): http://www.amtcdevotions.com/rejection
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Rejection series.