Sometimes, I like to think I am special. I look at other people and I can tell you about their personality, their past, and after talking to them for a short period of time, I can tell you about their future. I can tell you stories about their life without even talking to them. I can tell you the tragedies that have lead them to where they are in life. I can tell you about all the great things that are going to happen to them in the future.
In reality, I have no idea about who anyone is, or where they have been, or where they are going. But I enjoy making up fictional stories about people I have never met. In order to really know someone, it takes time, and effort. So until I build a real, and genuine, relationship with them, I have no right to pass any kind of judgment against them, good or bad. And, even when I do get to know someone, I really only know the person they present to me, with perhaps some “gut feelings” about who they really are.
I listen to people talk about their hopes, goals, and dreams. And for some reason, I get a clear vision of their success and I feel like I have the right, and perhaps even the obligation, to encourage them; to let them know they can do it, and to just go for it. It might be a job opportunity that they are nervous to explore, and I have no issue telling them to go after it, “what’s the worst that could happen?”
Maybe they want to quite their job and start their own business. “Absolutely!” I say. “Go for it. You’ll be awesome at that!”
And, I genuinely mean it.
Am I psychic? No. As cool as that would be, I don’t believe God has given me the ability to actually see their future.
I can see the best in people. I can see their path to success so clearly. I see their strengths and I am all over them with encouragement.
Then I think about my own hopes, goals, and dreams. I look at my strengths and successes and try to figure out what the next steps are – I go blank. I look in the mirror and try to do for myself what I can so easily do for others, and I am blind. I look in the mirror and I see my sin, my guilt, and my failures.
I look for my path to success and it looks more like a labyrinth than a path.
I see excuses, roadblocks, speed bumps, lack of opportunity, lack of financial gain, and hard work. I see stop signs, “do not enter” signs, and “road closed.”
I fill my mirror with so much negative crap, that I can’t see the beautiful creation that God put on this Earth. He made me just the way I am. He gave me passions. And strengths. And I need to use them. He gave me intelligence, and analytical, process driven mind with the ability to see things, and situations, from multiple perspectives. He gave me the ability to write and to teach. He gave me a sense of compassion, and an inner drive to see teenagers succeed, and overcome their fears and doubts. And yet, I can’t see where all those things lead my life.
Perhaps it is patience I lack. Or faith.
David went into battle against Goliath knowing that the God that created the universe had his back. He walked into a no win situation knowing that he couldn’t lose.
Steven preached boldly knowing that it would probably mean his death (and he was right).
Moses freed a nation with little more than a staff.
Elijah called down fire from heaven!!
Why can’t I do the same?
So I pray that God free my mind to see the possibilities, and that He give me the courage to chase after His will for my life.
What do you see in the mirror?