Yesterday during an evening church session, the group was talking about unrealized potential, and trying to discuss how to help each other find ways to optimize that potential.
The message boiled down to two simple questions: what is holding us back from reaching our full potential? And also: what is keeping us from helping others realize the potential in themselves? The message was a good reminder that we often need each other to see our best qualities and gifts. I’ve said before that we are not designed to solve our problems alone, and I really believe that to be true.
Since I began my journey of faith, I’ve approached a select few people to share in my journey, and that has been a big step for me. Before, because I was prideful, I thought that I could handle all of my problems on my own. A little dose of humility has taught me that I don’t know what I don’t know, and that I need help from people who are more mature in their faith than myself.
I heard a phrase yesterday during the evening church session that stuck to my brain. Near the end of the message, my old friend Nate tossed out the words “breathing to death.” It was a throwaway line that he used for effect, and I get the impression that the people surrounding me had heard that phrase before. To me, though, it really wrapped up my feelings about my previous life. I was just going through the motions, and not really living. Every breath was just a tick of the clock, counting down to nothingness, and I was just biding time.
We read from Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians, chapter one, which is a chapter that seems to come up a lot in my life. (I feel a great affinity for Paul; having been a sinner and blasphemer myself, and now being someone that writes about my newfound faith, I feel as though I have a lot in common with him.) This verse stood out to me: “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth . . . It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:26,30).
When I think of what I was when I was called, I shudder to think of how far astray I had journeyed. I have always been a straight-edge type of guy; the drugs, excessive drinking, and promiscuous sex that are so pervasive in our culture have never held any appeal to me. My sins lie more in the way I have treated people, and the way I had forsaken God for other false idols.
I am truly grateful to have recognized that I cannot realize my potential alone, and I am even more grateful to have found people that are willing to help me along my way.