She always spoke with a firm, yet soothing voice. Her calm demeanour sharply contrasted against the rambunctious manners of the teenagers and young adults under her keep. She inspired without trying and it is from one of her silent lessons I draw today’s post.
Mama J as we called her, was my very first real choir director. As leader of that small group of mostly young singers, one of her toughest jobs was
inspiring her young chaps to step up to the mic and lead songs.
“All these bathroom soloists in this choir ehn, God will bring all of you out one by one”, she’d jokingly pray.
If you’ve been involved with a choir or musical group, you probably know what I’m talking about. The bathroom soloists are those, who though (very) talented, would never come out to ‘try’ any song. They’d rather wait until someone else was out in front, then they’d start singing along, infusing such distinct harmony, someone inadvertently inquires- why don’t you go and do the song?
The bathroom soloist usually responded with a demure smile and shut up – temporarily. It wouldn’t be long before the entire process repeated itself.
Bathroom soloists have always had me confused: why would someone with an undeniably brilliant ability be so hesitant to share it? Could it be pride? Or was it more of self-doubt and fear? Beats me.
I never really understood the thought process behind that behaviour – and I was as guilty as anyone else but only for a while. Thanks to Mama J’s nurture and belief in me when I didn’t believe in myself, I left that behind.
Here’s my challenge to you today, in the areas of your gifting and abilities, decide NOT to be a bathroom soloist. It’s a very small way to live for real. They bless no one with their gift, they remain ‘local champions’ and eventually sink into irrelevance; eventually becoming the committee of professional critics, always pointing out how they’d have done it better. Don’t let yourself fall into that place.
But why? Why must you use your gift?
1. Your gift is your responsibility.
See, using your abilities is not really about you.
This is the big idea.
God didn’t put that in you for your sake. He put in there to bring glory to his name and to benefit your world. It’s not about you at all. Something changes inside when this truth dawns on you. Say this to yourself:
MY GIFTS AND ABILITIES ARE NOT ABOUT ME AT ALL! THEY ARE ABOUT GOD, HIS GLORY AND FOR THE BLESSING OF HUMANITY
Someday, you will stand before God, and from scriptures, we know that one of the things he’ll ask about is what you did with your life – in essence what you did with the gifts of time, energy, opportunities and abilities. How would you respond? You can start preparing that response today – by choosing to deploy the full extent of your abilities where God has placed you now
One more quick reason why you must use your gifts.
2. Your gift is your opportunity.
On the surface, some may seem disadvantaged due to the place and circumstances surrounding their birth, parental influence (or absence), economic limitations and the like. These are very valid constraints that cannot be brushed aside glibly.
But you know what?
The truth remains that God gives everyone at least some form of opportunity to make their lives count for something. That ability may just be your open door to the palaces of life. Isn’t it interesting that David’s ability on the harp introduced him in the palace even before his fighting skills became public knowledge?
Joseph’s strange ability to interpret dreams gave him the opportunity to become a prime minister (the gift didn’t make him a prime minister – it simply gave him a chance to be one. We could meet up on BBM if you need more clarity on tha. Powerful stuff I tell you).
You may not have been born into wealth, you may have suffered some very real disadvantages growing up, but you are NEVER without an opportunity to turn that around. See your ability differently – it’s your opportunity. Take it.
Everyone has some ability, but those who rule over cities are those who recognise it for what it is, handle it with a sense of business and apply themselves towards ensuring that the world doesn’t go without what they’ve got to offer.
You’ve planned. You’ve analysed several times over. You’ve prayed. You’ve sought advice and counsel. You’ve done it all – except one. It’s time to come out of hiding. It’s time to handle your gift, not just as just one of those nice things you can do, not just as what you share with a tiny clique of friends, but to look at it for what it really is – your RESPONSIBILITY and OPPORTUNITY.
So I guess what I’m saying is, the ‘bathroom tiles’ are tired of hearing your ‘voice’ all alone. Wipe yourself dry. Step out. And go be a blessing to your world.
Live by Design.
BBM : 514C3DD7
Photo Credit : Google Images
P.S: I’ve learned quite a few lessons from some women I call ‘The Mamas of My Life’. Here are just two sharp examples. Enjoy!