2015-08-18 - Potential
Each one of us is born with God-given potential. No matter our age, socioeconomic background, education, nationality or physical state, we all have potential, as long as we are breathing. Some people excel at fulfilling their potential.
One person who comes to my mind is Joni Earekcson Tada. In 1967, Joni was paralyzed while in a diving accident. She could have given up, and make no mistake. It wasn't an easy journey. But she is continuing to fulfill her potential. Today, 48 years later, her Joni and Friends© Ministry helps the disabled in countless ways, from family retreat times, to donation of wheelchairs to impoverished people around the world, and many more. There are too many Joni and Friends© ministries to describe here.
In a suburban Atlanta church, a 90-year old pianist sits at the keyboard every week, faithfully serving her God, serving her congregation and fulfilling her potential. She refuses to let age limit her.
On the other hand, there are too many sad examples, who squander their talents and opportunities. As a musician, of course my mind goes to several in that field. Jimi Hendrix was a gifted electric guitarist. Unfortunately, the world may no longer benefit from his music, as he was also well-known for his serious drug abuse, including hashish and cocaine. In fact, in 1970, he died too young, of drug-related causes, choking to death after taking 18 times the normal amount of a prescription sleeping pill. Wasted potential. He threw away his life, and probably the lives of some of his fans who would follow in his footsteps.
Likewise, there was the talented singer Jim Morrison; he not only abused drugs; his songs glorified them. Jim didn't live to see the age 30, and though an official autopsy was not done, based on testimony of those who were with him not long before his death, the assumption and belief is that he died of a heroin overdose. What a waste, and what a pathetic, tragic example for his young, impressionable followers. When I was growing up, I would change the channel on the radio when his drug song Light My Fire would be played; would that everyone would have done this, instead of rewarding the behavior by buying the records! What a waste!
What about you and me? Are we living up to our potential? According to God's word, every one of us has gift(s) to use. Some of us are encouragers; others are behind-the-scenes workers, the kinds of folks who sometimes aren't appreciated enough unless they FAIL to do their job! You know - the ones who clean the refrigerators, check on the thermostats during the week, and especially the ones who put the toilet paper in the bathrooms! Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 list some of the abilities He has provided. God also uses some of us as musicians, and some even as devotional writers. : )
Our Lord turned a man with a speech disability (stuttering) into a leader who would preserve the Ten Commandments. Meet Moses. He turned a big-mouth into one of the most dynamic and steadfast disciples. Meet Simon Peter. He used a doubter, as an evangelist. Meet Thomas. And He can use even you and me, too. Are we living up to our potential?
Janice P. Moser
All scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.