Children never seem to lack confident energy. At least mine don’t. They scoop up the hairbrush and bellow with all their might, strum the umbrella guitar, bang the tissue box drums and sing until the windows rattle. They are sure in their ability to make a joyful noise – regardless of the sound that results.
Oh, to be uninhibited. To provide vocals and music, inspiring scribbles, and culinary creations with childlike enthusiasm.
My kids have never turned down a chance to try something new. Sometimes they succeed. Sometimes they fail. But they attempt with absolutely everything inside of them.
At what age do we lose that wonderful courage? The courage to step into the spotlight and perform with everything inside? The courage to try? The courage to succeed? The courage to fail?
I suspect many adults secretly wish to be capable of something… else. Anything else. But are afraid to try.
Never let fear stop you. Go ahead. Make some noise. Seek and discover the unique giftedness God has placed in you, then use it for His glory and with all your might.
“You have a ministry. However insignificant it may seem to you, it is very significant to God (Lori Salerno).”[i]
“I hope you realize how much your family, your friends, your church, your community, and this world need you. Don’t allow who you truly are to be lost, buried, or devalued… what is most truly you matters (Lynne Hybels).”[ii]
“If year after year our lives are consumed with activities we’ve been neither gifted nor impassioned to do, and we never have the chance to slide into the sweet spot of giving out of our true self, we pay a higher price in ministry than God is asking us to pay. And the saddest thing is, when we allow this to happen, nobody wins (Lynne Hybels).”[iii]
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive (Gil Bailie).”
How do we discover our unique calling? Tim Challies offers some sound advice in his book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment (Crossway Books). He writes about five helpful principles to discover your gifts. These principles are: prayer, passion, asking others, trying, and trying some more.
- The obvious place to start when we are searching for wisdom is to go directly to the source of wisdom Himself. Ask God to reveal the areas in which you are gifted.
- You may find you already have great passion for an area of service in which God has gifted you.
- Asking friends that know you well, whom you trust to be mature Christians, may provide great insight and wisdom regarding your abilities.
- Try and try some more. The Holy Spirit may surprise you by uncovering a hidden passion as you try various activities and ministries.
[i] Lori Saleirno, Real Solutions for Ordering your Private Life. (Ann Arbor: Michigan , Vine Books, 2001) 52
[ii] Lynne Hybels, Nice Girls Don’t Change the World. (Barrington: Illinios, Willow Creek Association, 2005) Inside cover
[iii] Lynne Hybels, Nice Girls Don’t Change the World. (Barrington: Illinios, Willow Creek Association, 2005) 58