If you’ve ever read Psalm 139, then you’re familiar with the phrase “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” In one of my previous posts, I concluded by saying that one day in life you will come upon your ultimate test, whatever that may be. I believe that God has given every single one of us a moment in history for us to shine. Our talents and abilities were given to us by God with the intention that we should use them to glorify Him. When you start working in the area of your giftedness, you may discover that you are ten times better than the people around you who work just as hard to do the same job. This is not a coincidence; it is because God delights in you as his child, and he has empowered you to do more through him than you ever could have on your own.
I love the phrase one of the commentators in the video used, “It’s as if the Lord were holding the reins that day, and Secretariat was one of His creatures, and that day he simply whispered a go.” The fact is, we are all God’s creatures. He made us for his own enjoyment, and like a proud parent standing on the sidelines of a soccer field or sitting in the audience at a college graduation, He delights in cheering for us and watching us succeed.
The problem we all face is that, like Secretariat’s owner mentioned in the video, she was praying during the race that the jockey simply wouldn’t fall off the horse at that breakneck speed. Secretariat was on his way to athletic immortality that day, but if Ron Turcotte, his jockey, had been thrown from the horse, the greatest run in history would have been rendered invalid due to the rules of the race. Though we all take great pleasure in thinking of ourselves as God’s prized stallion, few of us can easily stomach the idea of being saddled with a rider who seeks to control us.
When we talk about the redemptive grace and unmerited favor of God being released into our lives through his son Jesus, hands fly into the air to accept the offer. What rarely gets talked about up front with newcomers, however, is the importance of also accepting his authority as the Lord of our lives. This sets many starry-eyed new converts up for failure, as they later come to realize that getting into God’s kingdom means forfeiting control of your destiny and relinquishing certain desires in exchange for God to work out his own plans for our lives.
Jesus warned us in his own words that following him means taking on a yoke. While this may sound repulsive to our freedom-loving American sensibilities, the fact is that power without control is worthless. If God made you the most excellent and unstoppable force in the world, but never taught you how to use your gifts and talents responsibly, you would quickly spiral out of control and slam into the ground like a plane without a pilot. Many people believe that they are perfectly capable of managing their own lives without any need for an “overseer” who admonishes them, but I have yet to meet a person who can honestly say they have never been in a position in life where they made a crushing mistake that left them desperately searching for a higher power and wondering how they could have gotten themselves into such a mess in the first place. Just like a plane needs a pilot and a horse needs someone to discipline him and train him for the race, so too do we need someone who can plumb the true depths of our greatness and expose the full measure of our talents, because He is the one who put it there in the first place.
Whatever it is that you do with your talents in life, remember that those talents didn’t come from you. You owe it to your parents, for providing you with good genes and good direction in life. You owe it to your teachers and mentors who showed you the skills you needed to succeed. Above all, you owe it to God, because he knit you together in your mother’s womb, and as it says in Jeremiah Chapter 1, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart, and appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
God intends for you to do something incredible and spectacular with your life. Don’t miss out on his purpose just because you’re unwilling to tolerate the discipline necessary to make the big moment possible.