Probably the most interesting thing about life is living itself. When we pause to observe and think about it, some interesting principles jump out at us. Not like they’re anything new- they’ve been there all along. We just had to slow down long enough to let wisdom catch up with us.
If you’re like me, you desire your life to count for something; to make a difference, to register an impact someway, somehow. Now while some of us may not yet be able to exactly articulate exactly how we desire to do this, still that inner crave for significance resonates deep within us.
Being young offers us countless options- we feel we can do almost anything! For some, it’s no longer about not knowing what to do but knowing too many things that they want to do! Interesting.
How do we make the best use of this incredible time in our lives? I’ve found one answer. There may be more, but I trust you’ll like what I found.
I discovered that for us to make the most of this season, we must qualify. I mean we must qualify to serve. An example will clear this up. Imagine you have a strong passion for helping sick children- you’re consumed with the desire to bring comfort and health to those little angels. You just can’t stand the sight of crying, sickly toddlers. So you decide you’re going to do something about it- you’re going to help them as a pediatric doctor. That way, you can really, really help them.
But wait a minute. You just can’t don a white coat, slap on a stethoscope and jump out there as a doctor. You’ll be arrested as an impostor and God help you if Nigeria Police Force releases you early enough to make an attempt into the School of Pediatric Medicine. Why didn’t they let you just express your passion to help the kids? Simple- you were NOT qualified.
Look at every other area of life; irrespective of your passion/gifting. You’ll discover that this principle holds true. Probably your dream is to become a successful entrepreneur with profitable businesses providing decent jobs for thousands of people. How do you achieve that?
You’ll still need to qualify- you may need to go through years of apprenticeship under a competent mentor, you may need to attend a business school to gain relevant business management skills, you may need to sacrifice some personal pleasures to raise seed capital for your business idea. All these activities are part of what will qualify you to serve at the bigger level- the level of being a renowned entrepreneur.
It’s a basic principle of life- before we can serve others, we must qualify to serve. And the way we do that is by developing our passions and abilities into valuable skills, products and services. Therefore, as much as we keep our lofty goals in view, we must carefully consider our present circumstances and discover what parts of it are presently functioning as our qualification to serve at a higher level.
Do you desire to become a top-notch CEO yet it presently seems like you’re in a dead-end job? Probably that’s your qualifying process to build a future corporate culture that designs and allocates meaningful work to all staff. Probably that’s your qualifying ‘exam’ on how NOT to run an organization (have you been taking notes since you resumed?). We don’t only learn what to do, we also learn what NOT to do in the qualifying process.
Our passions and dreams embolden us to wield the weapon of change, but our skills and abilities give that weapon its’ cutting edge. Passion without skills is a blunt tool- attempting to cut with it will only produce fatigued frustration!
We can only serve and be effective as much as we’ve developed our skills and qualified to serve. Our gifts are only as useful as the level to which they are developed. We cannot effect much change with undeveloped or underdeveloped gifts.
“If the axe is dull and the man (or woman) does not whet the edge, he must put forth more strength…” Ecclesiastes 10:10
(The Amplified Bible)
I observed how Jesus often withdrew from the crowds even when they desperately needed his help. Know what he was doing? He was taking time out to qualify himself to serve them even better. He knew the secret of maintaining a sharp ‘tool’ .We CANNOT give what we DO NOT have (Matthew 14:23).
Joseph went to seek the welfare of his brothers and he was sold off into slavery. Then he was in charge of the welfare of Potiphar’s house. Eventually, he was in placed in charge of a whole nation’s welfare- and soon other nations as well. Each phase was his qualification for the next. He was constantly qualifying to serve at a higher level- till he qualified into his dream!
Yes our dreams are a million times bigger than where we are today; but we need to realize that where we are holds some qualifying tests for where we eventually want to be. At every new phase of impact we desire, we MUST qualify to serve. That’s how it works friends.
Ask yourself: What qualifying exams am I taking right now?
Wishing you perfect success!
My passion is to help young people understand how God designed life to REALLY work and live it to the fullest!
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