I was free falling from a 45 foot cliff (not very impressive, I know) in an old iron-ore pit in northern Minnesota. It only took about an hour for me to gather up the courage to take the leap and jump. Well, actually that’s not true. It only took about an hour for my brother to push me off after getting sick of me repeating, “Okay, I’m really gonna do it this time.” Heights have always been something that I’ve hated, at least when I knew I had to jump from that height. When people asked me what my biggest fear was, I would tell them the common answer; heights. Some may argue that no way am I more scared of heights than I am death. But at that point, I was pretty positive that both we’re tag-teaming to put me under. It wasn’t until years later that I realized my real biggest fear.
I heard a pastor say, “I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for God to see his children wasting the gifts and passions that he has instilled in them.” That terrified me. I have always been frustrated by other athletes in high school and college who wasted the talent that I would have done anything to have. I couldn’t understand how they would waste their natural ability, when others, like myself, had to work our butts off and still couldn’t achieve the athleticism that they were just born with. I wanted to see them live up to their potential and see how far they could go.
In the same way, I can understand God’s frustration. Or rather, maybe his sadness. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace..” He has given each one of us certain gifts and passions in order to fulfill our purpose and bring Him glory. It’s much easier to hide in the shadows and play it safe than really chase after what God has for you. It’s much easier to half-heartedly do what you’re called to do. It’s much easier to side step your calling and tip toe around it. But when we do pursue it, that is when we come alive, that is when we feel fulfilled.
We can’t reach our full potential when we’re operating outside of our God-given strengths. Whatever your gifts and passions are; don’t waste them, embrace them. Whether thats speaking, hospitality, teaching, camel racing, singing, dancing, dog grooming, art, comedy, etc. Embrace those talents and traits and glorify God with them whole-heartedly.We need to be good stewards to what God has given us.
When you’re at the end of your life, are you going to have regret because you wasted your talent and gifts? That’s my biggest fear and it should be yours. Go after it, you won’t regret it. If you do, I’ll let you push me off of a 45 foot cliff.
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/kesara_rathnayake/8191638454/”>Kesara Rathnayake (kesara.lk)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>