My key message is that its not what you are called that matters , but what you answer to. Your identity in life is not defined by your blemishes, but the inner glory of your personality
I was barely 5 years old in 1981. I was at a preschool. I was afflicted with eczema so my skin was all spots. There was a house adjoined to the school fence, which had a peach tree. We went as a group of kids to get peaches over the fence. As I stretched out to ask for some peaches, a small boy who was hardly older than me said, “ I wont give you any because you have skin spots”
Boy was I gutted. My confidence took such a dive. However as I was to reflect over the next few days, I decided that I was not going to be defined by a blemish on my skin. No a thousand times no!
This incident has helped me to be more confident about who I am. The labels of others do not have an impact on me. Importantly I learnt that its not what you are called that matters but what you answer to – I answer to greatness. Through all seasons of life – the winter, the summer, autumn and spring – I now listen to the ‘great within’. I have learnt to live my life under the quiet approval of God than the noisy applause of others.
I am now comfortable in my own skin. This is the message I bring to many others. Today I am in a place where I use my voice, heart, hands and head to help others find their own voice. When one’s identity is secure, then the destiny is sure.
Today in History: 11 February 1990 Nelson Mandela walked out of prison a free man. In the remaining years of his life…well after his prime he changed a nation. It’s never too late to make a difference. You are never too young or too old to fulfil your purpose.
Step out. The world is waiting for you. No prison can hold your purpose.
In my morning devotions I was drawn to Paul’s writing on resurrection. He uses powerful imagery of a seed to make his point:
“…When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t a grow into a plant unless it dies first…You plant a “dead” seed; soon there is a flourishing plant. There is no visual likeness between seed and plant” 1 Corinthians 15:36 (NLT)
A seed is dry and looks almost lifeless, yet it has much potential. When a seed is planted in the darkness of the soil, it soon breakthroughs the soil into a glorious plant. Without going through this transformation process , this seed will not perform as a plant.
A few lessons to ponder as you start this week and looking ahead into 2014:
1. You have great potential in you. You may look nothing like it – dry, wilted and struggling, but there is something great and alive in you
2. The circumstances of life are the soil in which the seeds in you will be birthed
3. A seed is not ‘buried’ but ‘planted’. When going through transformation process you are not dying but being changed. You may not like the process, but it’s what brings your progress.
4. A photo is developed in a dark room like a seed. The negative experiences of life are the dark places where your potential is developed
Transform from dry seed to a lively plant. If you don’t transform you will deform. If you transform you will perform.
Declare: I have the seeds of greatness in me. I flourish where I am planted. I am productive and fruitful.
You can get a copy of book Seeds of Greatness to fully appreciate the success lessons from seed.
“ As an eagle that stirreth up her nest, That fluttereth over her young, He spread abroad his wings, he took them, He bare them on his pinions” Deuteronomy 32:11
Moses the lawgiver wrote this verse in the Bible. I imagine he observed eagles when he went up Mount Sinai to get the law. During the time of training the eaglets to fly, the mother eagle throws them out of the nest. Due to fear they jump into the nest again. Next, she throws them out and then takes off the soft layers of the nest, leaving the thorns bare. Ouch! When the scared eaglets again jump into the nest, thorns prick them. Shrieking and bleeding they jump out again this time wondering why the mother and father who love them so much are torturing them. Next, mother eagle pushes them off the cliff into the air. As they shriek in fear, father eagle flies out and catches them up on his back before they fall and brings them back to the cliff. This goes on for some time until they start flapping their wings. They get excited at this newfound knowledge that they can fly. Wow! Life is pretty much like that – you experience the discomfort, the frustration, the pricks and the situations, which push us off the cliff.
Lets unpack a few lessons:
Don’t stay in the nest (comfort zone) forever – there are worlds to explore
You will never know the joys of flying if you stay in a nest
Challenges are an opportunity to learn not to destroy you
Beyond temporary discomfort, there is permanent comfort
A nest is great for babies, but bad for grown ups – keep growing!
Fear is a liar – beyond the pain there is gain. Leave your nest, spread your wings and fly.