Let God be your agent.
I find over and over again that I don’t need to make room for myself, or try to gain favor with people. I don’t need to manipulate situations in order to get my "big break". I don’t need to worry that I’m going to miss God’s call on my life because of other people’s decisions. I don’t need to stress about being in the right place at the right time. I find God takes care of that. I find God makes a very wise agent with impeccable timing (he’s got great connections, too).
Remember when God told the prophet he was going to secretly anoint a new king, because he got tired of Saul’s antics?
"Go to Bethlehem, Samuel – one of the sons of Jesse is the next king."
We all know the story: Everyone assumes it’ll be the firstborn. No? Well here’s the second.. not him either? Surely the third! Hm… all the way through the list. No king here.
“You got any other sons, J?” the prophet asks.
“Well, there’s David, but he really doesn’t count – he’s keeping the sheep anyway.”
But sure enough, he’s the one. Samuel anoints him and goes home. And David, newly anointed king over all Israel, presumably goes back out to take care of the sheep.
It strikes me as a funny scene: David, his head all sticky with anointing oil, the new king of Israel, awkwardly looking around, and finally saying, "Well guys, this has been great. Nice to meet you, Mr. Prophet, but I really gotta get back to the sheep."
The thing is, David’s father prevented him from standing in line to get a word from the prophet (someone had to take care of the sheep, I guess), but that didn’t stop God from getting David anointed king. Afterward, David goes back to taking care of sheep. He doesn’t storm the castle and tell Saul he’s the new king (“Smell my hair! ANOINTING OIL BABY!! That’s my throne you’re sitting in, bud”). He walks back out to the pasture to watch over some stupid, stinky sheep. David didn’t try to maneuver his way into the White House with sophisticated political jockeying or behind-the-scenes manipulation. He was simply faithful to the task at hand (even when that task looked quite un-kingly), and God took care of everything else.
I find that if I will humbly do what God’s asked me to do, he promotes in his own time, in his own way. And it’s always better than I would have come up with in my own striving and planning.
So if you’re not where you want to be, if you’re not yet walking in the fullness of your calling, don’t waste your time clamoring for attention, or blaming other people for holding you back. Instead spend yourself fully and joyfully on the task at hand, whether it’s taking care of sheep or teaching children, making French fries or fixing toilets, mowing yards or designing brochures, serving diners or accounting. Do it with all your heart, as for the Lord (Col 3:17). Who knows? What you think is a detour might be a divinely authored place of preparation. Taking care of sheep prepared David to face Goliath. It also prepared him for the throne. God’s probably got you right where he wants you, so just cooperate: work hard, stay happy, stay humble, resist the temptation to promote yourself or blame others for holding you back. God’s a very wise agent with impeccable timing, and he’s for you. Trust him.