The World Gives Opportunities Not Handouts

The world gives opportunities not handouts. 

I came back home to the West side just the other day in my beat up Buick Regal I named Bethany. She is an 01 with around 160,000 miles on her but still runs pretty good. And although it’s not the “coolest” looking car ( meaning its a straight up grandpa whip), it was a gift and to be honest, I can’t afford to even look at a different car.

That little silver Buick Regal has gotten me all over Washington State from Longview to Spokane and has made multiple trips over the mountain pass. It is reliable in every sense of the word despite being old.

Over the last almost 3 years I have maybe put $300 into it to change the battery and a few tubes, but other than that, it has never had an issue.

That was until the other day.

I was coming over the mountain pass with my beautiful girlfriend and noticed that when I began pressing on the brakes, my car would make a grinding noise. 

As I pressed down further on the brakes and came to a stop, the whole front end of my car would shake just a little bit. 

Not a good sign. 

Now that car has always been a little creaky, it has had some issues since the day I got it, but nothing quite like this. 

That night when I got home I talked to my parents about Bethany the Buick and knew that I needed to take it into a car shop. I looked online a little bit and found one close by that seemed like a really good company and had great reviews. I immediately set up an appointment for the earliest day I could.

Come Friday morning I dropped off the keys to my car to a man behind the desk at Midas Auto Service Center and he said he would call me as soon as he had a quote for me. 

No problem I thought. 

I was studying brake repairs online, I was asking around, I was looking at quotes from other shops, I’m thinking about $300 to $500 to fix her up.

Which is about $300 more than I have to put into my car right now, but you do what you got to do.

I go throughout my day as normal after my mom brings me home in her car from the shop. I start by mowing my neighbors lawn and then I do a little work on my room, finally I get ready to go play basketball but as I am about to leave the house… my phone rings. 

“Hey this is so and so from Midas calling for Jared Smith.” 

“Yeah this is Jared, what do you got for me.”

“Well I’m sorry to do this, I hope you’re ready, because it’s not pretty.” 

Oh boy.

The nice man on the phone then begins to list out all of the things wrong with my car, but I’m not really a car guy so I’m having trouble tracking.

Something about pads and rotors, then fluid and something broken, it was kind of all jumbled together in my mind since I didn’t know what any of that meant, but by the end of the call, I understood him loud and clear.

“So we can fix that up for you but your total for repair cost comes to $1,817.25” 

$18 hundred?  

  1. 8. 0. 0. dollars. 

It’s a 20 year old Buick, the car itself isn’t even worth $1800, the car is barely worth $900. I can’t even afford $1800 if I wanted to. 

“Nope that’s okay sir, won’t work for me at this time, when will it be ready to pick it up.” 

Next thing I know, I am driving back home in Bethany the Buick for most likely the last time. 

And the whole time I’m thinking to myself… seriously? 2020 has been trying to destroy me! First Covid came so I couldn’t work and ended up losing all my income, since I lost all my income I couldn’t pay off the taxes I had fallen behind on, with all of that other stress I have had a hard time focusing on other things and now, I don’t even have a car. 

I mean seriously what is going on? Is there someone out there controlling the world that thinks this is funny? 

And as I was driving home I started doing what I do often… I prayed. 

But “pray” is a formal way to put it, I was just yelling with God. 

“Are you serious? HELP ME OUT HERE. I am trying my best with what you have given me. Come on man! I keep praying for financial freedom and this is what you allow to happen to me.” 

But my train of thought was interrupted by, believe it or not, a Tik Tok I saw the other day. It was a movie clip from Morgan Freeman playing a role as God. He was talking to a young lady and he said something along the lines of… 

“You think I just give people things? Or do I give them opportunities to earn what they asked for.

People pray for patience, I give them opportunities to be patient.
People pray for family time, I give them chances to get close with family.” 

Opportunities to earn what they asked for. 

And I have been thinking and praying and hoping alot to finally become financially free, or rather even financially stable, and I was getting so upset because it hasn’t happened yet, but maybe I was looking for the wrong thing. 

I was hoping I guess that in some weird way the world would magically bless me with money, whereas I think instead, the world doesn’t give handouts, the world gives opportunities. 

Opportunities to make money. Opportunities to save and invest that money smartly. Opportunities to recognize that money isn’t everything. Opportunities to learn from my mistakes both in the financial realm and everywhere else. 

So what my car no longer works? 

I just picked up a local job as a grocery cashier and neighbors keep handing me yard work and landscaping. Sure, it’s a lot of work, sure it’s not ideal, BUT it’s an opportunity.

And until I get out of my own head and stop throwing my own pity party because the “world is not fair” nothing will change. Because the longer I allow myself only to feel upset and attacked without doing anything about it. The longer I let opportunities pass me by. 

We can’t allow opportunities to grow, learn and develop go to waste any longer because we are waiting for something good to happen to us. 

Even when life gets the hardest, keep looking for and asking for opportunities from the world. 

The world gives opportunities not handouts. What are you going to do with them?

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