So many times we struggle to believe the great plans and potentials that await us in life. If it were up to us and our belief in ourselves, many of us wouldn’t make it beyond our pj’s and our beds and the sweets that our body inadvertently crave. We would consider it a triumph to get up and brush both our hair and teeth (ok so maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic but you get the point.)
People tell us of our greatness, of our potentials and the paths that we are meant to walk down. They even tell us the how and the when of when we have risen to the different occasions and surpassed the expectations set for us (mostly by others) and we don’t believe them. We believe that our success was a fluke, a one off or merely caused by the fact that we got lucky that moment. We get so keyed up and lost that we forgot that we are children of His. If we had to run our lives merely by the measure of what we thought we could do and not by what He knows we can we all might be up poop creek without a paddle and get very little done.
You see, most of us have the crippling disease of “I can’t”. What we should say is “I won’t” since it isn’t really a choice of “can” or “can’t” but rather a choice of “will” or “won’t”. We all have the potential for greatness. He built it into our souls as He set that into us when we were unleashed into existence. As funny and weird as it sounds, it’s like He set the sparkle in us with a very small set of directions to accompany this sparkle. As the world’s circumstances and the people in it convince us we must be wrong in our path and vision, that set of directions gets buried deeper and deeper in the pile of “stuff” we carry around. For that matter so does the “sparkle” as I I like to call it. We get convinced that on handout day, we must have been missed or if we weren’t missed it was pure oversight o someone’s part that we got one. But really, we have one (no mistake). While it isn’t ours to extinguish, it is ours to tend to.
The choice is in whether or not we will uncover that spark of greatness, and when we find it, what will we do with it. “It” is that thing that is unique to us, brought into the world by us and our “job” to share if you will. God being who and what He is could just drop it into the world in one fell swoop but He chose not to do it that way. Instead, He gave each of us a unique portion of the world’s puzzle to carry and share with others. He also makes no mistakes in who He hands what to. If you do not like the puzzle analogy think of it this way — We are a bit like children at our first Easter egg hunt afraid to pick up the egg with our parent telling us “Go on, Go on you can do it!” Will you go and grab your egg or proudly carry your puzzle piece into the world and do what you are destined to do?
It does not mean that we need to always be that one of a kind thing preforming the great deeds of the likes of Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King. They were amazing people and that was their calling and path, they went after their egg, their puzzle piece and made tremendous strides in the greater world because of it, but neither of them ever set out to be famous.
Like many of you, I get scared by the fact that I failing to reach my potential or to pass some cosmic test but then I realized something this morning that I have said over and over here and elsewhere – Life isn’t a sprint it’s a marathon. In that seeking to achieve that pinnacle of a moment in which we are like a firework that burns bright for all the world to see we forget that is momentary and fleeting and mostly reserved for the daredevils of the world. God did not create an entire race of daredevils and in that He knew what He was doing. What He did create though was an entire group of people who though they may not realize it, have a tremendous potential to change the state of the world.
You do not have to pull off some great feat … Instead, focus on finding and being extraordinary on an ordinary day. It is very attainable really, as it does not have to be a feat of magic or grandeur (which so many of us seem to struggle with). Maybe extra ordinary means that we give the person in front of us the extra nickle they need at the grocery store, that we volunteer some of our free time at a shelter or aquarium (something we care about), that we feed a homeless person, help a homebound person grocery shop, make an extra call to a person that we haven’t spoken to in awhile — if we think about it — all of those things are extraordinary in the world we seem to live in today where it is the “me”, “my” and “I” generation.
Building and extending community are things that seemingly slip into the past as we are connected to our electronic universe that removes the humanity and soul out of much of the lives that we live. It’s crazy to think that acts of service and extensions of one’s times and talent would be extra ordinary, but it is so seize it and do right by His gift to you. Everyday that we wake up breathing is a day with potential for greatness.
While it is true that there are things that you can’t do immediately (for me driving) it is also true that there is so much that I can do to help improve the world. While I have been covering it in “can’t” because I was afraid or trained to underestimate my own potential for greatness, when I change it to “I won’t” suddenly the selfishness and fear in my choices are so much more apparent. And those are two things I despise. And so, I’ve made a promise to myself to get up each day and consciously think of a way to move beyond myself. Remember your greatness can come in baby steps. If you struggle to set out your mind towards a way to make yours and others lives better each day, simply open your heart to the opportunity and let it come as it will. I’d almost bet, as you lay in bed and review your day, a thing or two will make an appearance. It happens when we don’t even know it because we are open. Before we know it, if a bunch of us do it, the world will be a better place.