It’s Always Been There.

Nicholas Dancer
Oct 15, 2019 · 3 min read

Years ago, we purchased a type of tooling called ‘Fenix Pads.’ These Fenix Pads cost our company a pretty penny, valued at around $600. At the time, we had hoped that they would be our solution for a custom overlay-type project. However, things didn’t go as planned, and we ended up not needing to use them. We had spent some money on them so, rather than throwing them away, we decided to pack them up and hoped we would find a use for them in the future.

For years, these Fenix Pads sat in the back of the shop in an indiscriminate cardboard box collecting dust. It wasn’t until this week, almost five years after originally purchasing them, that we decided to dust them off to see if we could use them.

In a sampling of an upcoming job, we started evaluating our methods. Our current process would definitely work; however, it would be messy, time-consuming, and somewhat damaging to the surrounding walls and casework. We thought — there has to be a better way.

So, we pulled these Fenix Pads out of the back, dusted them off, and put them on the machine. To our surprise, they seemed to work exactly how we needed them to. After all of these years sitting in the back of the shop collecting dust, we had found a purpose for them after all. We used them to complete a sample project as well as a more sizeable area project within our shop this week, and we will be using them more in the future.

Some pads that had been sitting in the back, untouched and somewhat unneeded, were called upon, and they worked their way from the backroom to the forefront in an instant. The word ‘Fenix Pad’ was probably said less than ten times in the last five years. Now, it’s mentioned more than ten times each day.

Five years ago, we bought these pads for a totally different reason than for what we are using them for today. However, if we wouldn’t have bought them all the years ago, we wouldn’t have come up with the solution that we did this week. It’s possible that we would still be using our messy, time-consuming method that we had before.

In our lives, we also find gifts, talents, and abilities that seem to lay dormant. Maybe we are working a job that feels like it’s not aligned with our true skills. Perhaps hobbies have taken a back seat as you raise young children, or you are in a season of one thing — which limits something else. Something seems to be ‘sitting on the back shelf — collecting dust.’ Maybe it’s an experience, a degree, or the idea of what you could offer the world.

As we navigate through our day-to-day life, thoughts like this can cause us to sometimes feel lost or inadequate. We start to think, “What’s the point?” or, “Is this all there is?”

These thoughts are only escalated when we see others using their gifts and talents. We feel frustrated and wonder….”What about me?”

I believe we all have opportunities that can help bring these skills ‘off the shelf’ and into action. We are all called to utilize our skills and talents at different times. There is power in patiently waiting. Not giving up, but in being still. If we look to help those around us and use the gifts and experiences we have, the time will come when we are asked to help in some way and bring those into life.

Your gifts are not wasted — just because they are not being used ‘right now.’

Written by

Learning to lead @ Dancer Concrete Design. Husband to a beautiful woman and father to 3 sons. Author of ‘Day-IN, Day-Out.’ — available at Amazon.

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