I’ll never forget how accomplished at the age of 12 years old, I felt standing on that beauty pageant stage. With clear mascara on my eyelashes, lipstick on my cheeks and chapstick on my lips. I felt incredibly beautiful.
Just receiving the participation medal for getting on the stage, had me squealing!
Then came the category awards; “Best Hair”, ” Best Eyes”, “Best Stage Presence” were all being awarded to the other girls in the competition. Then “Most Potential” was awarded to me … I had also won the princess title. But for some reason, “Most Potential” was all I could think about.
My excitement was halted as I walked off the stage. I hadn’t been applauded for my, off the rack, pageant dress from JC Penny’s that may or may not have had gum stuck to it. Or for the butterfly clips that adorned my partially curled hair. But for having the “Most Potential”. I took it as “You could do much better next time”.
I think God has awarded me “Most Potential” quite a few times too, maybe He calls it “Most Grace”. Giving me an unmeasurable amount of grace in this crazy life and often whispering to me, “You have the potential to do so much”, “Great job my daughter, but I have created you to do more”, “The potential you have goes far beyond anything you can imagine.”
I am reminded in Isaiah 41:10 to “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
But all too often, fear paralyzes me in life, more often then it should. I talk myself out of taking chances. Taking that leap of faith into something “more”.
What good is potential if you don’t reach it? Sure at 12 having potential is great, even at 26 potential is awesome. But when you’re 76 you don’t want someone to say to you, “You have so much potential”. You want to have already reached it.
God has called us to live a life of abundance. We were not called to live a mediocre life. God did not send His one and only son to die on the cross for us to live life in paralyzingly fear but to live with purpose. To turn your potential into productivity.
Consider this excerpt from the book Uprising by Erwin Raphael McManus:
“God sees not only who we are, but who we can become. When we neglect our God-given capacity, when we refuse to go and maximize our God-given potential, it is wickedness in the sight of God… You’re not supposed to die with your potential. A life well lived squeezes all the potential placed within you and does something with it.”
I encourage you to take leaps of faith with me. To be faithful with what has been given to you (your gifts + talents). To live a productive life. Ask God how you can glorify Him. Dare to be obedient to His word. His plan. You are important to God. He needs you. Please, get up and come with me. For I too, need to be encouraged on this journey