Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5, NIV).
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought (Matthew 5:5, The Message).
“Why can’t I look like that, talk like that, sing like that, be smart like that”?
We always discount who we are. If we are not content with our own gifts—the ones that God has anointed us with–we cannot and will not be used by God to impact our world.
What are you good at? What are your strengths? What do you hear others say about you? What do you like to do; love to do? What doesn’t seem like a chore for you? Think for a moment; no, really reflect? What are you good at?
Those are your talents; the gifts God anointed you with. Cultivate them; try to find ways you can use them and yes, maybe make a little money as well.
We need not covet another person’s gifts, talents or looks; we just need to cultivate and appreciate the ones that God has given us. Don’t doubt yourself, you are unique; your talents are your gifts to the world.
So don’t forget, God has blessed you and God wants you to use your unique talents to bless the world. In other words, like Oscar Wilde said, ‘be yourself, everyone else is already taken”.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
The bible is filled with stories of leaders looking beyond the obvious. Two such stories illustrated Joshua’s perception of current events (see Deuteronomy 1:22-38; Joshua 5:13-6:20). How about David slaying the Giant or Peter’s visit to Cornelius’s house (Act 10:9-48) or how can we forget how Jesus looked beyond the obvious, with the raising of the little girl that was announced to be dead. “She is not dead; she is sleeping (Mark 5:39).
Let’s us not forget our modern day saints who changed the world, such as, Reverend Troy Perry who made it possible for “queer people” to embrace Christianity and believe in a living God again; or the Reverend John Shelby Spong who helps us to look beyond religion and theism to understand the love of God.
It is not necessary to only look at religious figures who challenge us to look beyond the obvious. Consider Barack Obama who fought the odds to become our first black President of these United States with the theme, “Yes We Can.” Or Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com which has changed our methods of buying, owning and reading books, or Steve Jobs who brought Apple back from near extinction. Who can refute what the internet and the likes of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, have done to our political landscape and to our world.
I am sure you know of people, not so famous, who have made your world a better place because they looked beyond the obvious. Let’s not be like the many birds in the picture looking in the same direction. Find the bird that’s looking in a different direction. That’s the one we often need to follow. So what do you see differently that could be changed to improve your life or those around you?
I know it’s hard when you are struggling. What have you been struggling with? Have you taken the blinders off and looked at things in a different way? You are not alone, I am trying too. As I wrestle with the obvious, I know God is asking me to look at things differently; to look beyond the obvious. I pray that you will do the same when you are faced with life’s challenges.
Concept & photograph by Tony Crisp. Graphic Design by Jim Whalen
I don’t know what your lot in life has been or will be in the future, but here’s a prayerful thought that I offer you
Photograph and graphic design by Jim Whalen
explorefaith.org – Opening Our Ears to Different Voices.
A message for all of us, please take to the time to read. I would love to hear what you think.