“The best men are not those who have waited for chances but who have taken them; besieged chance, conquered the chance, and made chance the servitor.”
E. H. Chapin
What are you waiting for in life? The voice in the back of your mind that whispers, “it’s the door on the left?” If you don’t hear the voice, then what do you do? Wait until the signs are obvious? Do you wait for happenstance to occur and for the moment to be “just right.”
Waiting for chance sounds far too close to surrender to me. It is letting others, and outside circumstances, or the lack of circumstance, control who you are and who you become. As I reflect on this quote I am reminded of the ‘parable of the talents’ from the book of Matthew.
‘“It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money. “
‘“After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
‘“The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’
‘“The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’
‘“The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.”
‘“‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’ “Matthew 25:14-30
The first two people in the story made chance the servitor. The third was a complete servant to chance. How do you want to live your life? Which door do you choose?