‘Three strikes and you’re out’ is a phrase for baseball players and criminals in several states. But it can also refer to failing to get your dream job. Let me explain.
Jojo Villa loves basketball. He grew up in the Philippines and played on the high school and collegiate levels. He coached those two levels as well as on the professional level. His dream job, however, was to return to his alma mater to coach basketball. He submitted the first application for the position in 2003. Villa’s former assistant coach got the job. The second application was submitted in 2008. The search committee gave the job to a novice without any head coaching experience. In 2014, The chosen candidate hadn’t coached for twenty years.
In 2012, two years before the third strike occurred, another basketball coach gave Mr. Villa Dan Britton’s book Wisdom Walks. The book introduced Villa for the first time to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Two things happened to Mr. Villa in 2014: the third rejection for the coaching position at his alma mater and joining FCA as the full-time Director for Metro Manilla.
A few months into his employment with FCA, and over a three-week period, he received three basketball job offers. He received the invitation to become the commissioner of the second-largest collegiate league in the Philippines. He declined. A week later, the most prestigious collegiate league asked if he would be commissioner. He turned it down. Another week passed and his alma mater called to inform him they had fired the head coach. Would he take the job? His dream job was presented to him on a silver platter. Twenty years of praying had failed to open the door to him. Now the door was wide open. What was he to do? Jojo Villa paused, gathered his thoughts, and then said no. Villa turned down three basketball leadership job offers including his dream job. How could he do that?
Mr. Villa explained, “Yes, it was my dream job, but it was not God’s dream job for me. God closed all the doors in coaching so I could see the narrow road that began with FCA ministry. This was His purpose for me.” He is now the National Director of FCA Philippines and living the plan God laid out for him.
My biography of the Rev. George E. Stone, A Modest But Crucial Hero, records how he heard in late 1898 about a missionary opportunity with the Arabian Mission. He applied, was accepted, and was appointed to serve in the Persian Gulf. He wrote home more than once that he had no regrets.
What is your dream job? Please let me know what it is. Will you enter God’s free agency program to let Him assign you to the position of His choosing? Mr. Villa “learned what’s truly important: abiding in the center of God’s will… He has shown me His beautiful way.” God has a beautiful way for you. Please let me know what that way is for you.
 Jojo Villa, Daily Impact Play: Walk In It. Greater Purpose, Volume 65, Issue 7 2023, p. 11.
 A Modest But Crucial Hero: The Life and Legacy of Rev. George E. Stone (1873-1899) Lake Placid, New York: Aviva Publishing. 2023.