So you’re going to tackle the world, huh? Make a difference and make an impact?
But how often do we enter into the realm of possibility and opportunity with the mentality that we can do anything and everything, without really focusing on one specific task? It’s been said that if you try to do everything you will end up accomplishing nothing.
While reading the book Talent is Never Enough by John Maxwell I came across a story where Maxwell went to Argentina on a business trip and found out the city he was going to be in was renown for hunting. Being one that was willing to try new things, he decided to try hunting, even though he was beyond amateur status. He got to the site and was overwhelmed with the fact that there was a massive amount of doves in the sky, around 50,000! Yet after awhile he had not even shot a single dove. The guide, embarrassed, came over finally and told him, “You know what your problem is? You are trying to hit every single dove. Just focus on one. Don’t even worry about the ones you miss.” After that Maxwell hit 3 doves, still not a lot, but better than none.
It’s so important to focus on something specific. As Maxwell pointed out, it’s so important that one knows the difference between motion and direction. Tony Robbins, an American self-help author and motivational speaker, said, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.“
Romans 12:6-8 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
So perhaps the first step to success is figuring out who you are and where your talents lie. Combine those with where you want to make a difference, and then focus on doing what you can to fix that situation.
Sometimes it’s easy to look at others and say “Hey, I think I’d like to be like them” and forget how unique God has made you. I’m in charge of an 8th grade leadership group at Youth for Christ where I volunteer, and I had them do this activity where I gave each kid a dirty penny and told them they have two minutes to clean it up the best they can and the winner gets some candy. So they all ran out into the kitchen to begin polishing them up. Except for one girl, who came back and sat back down saying, “We’re never going to be able to clean these pennies.” Most of the other kids came back with little luck in shinning the pennies up. Two girls, though, had found some sort of polishing cleaner that they used to brighten the penny up just a bit.
The point of this activity was to show that it’s so easy to take something like copper and try to shine it into gold. Which of course, is not possible. So if you’re going to change the world, pick out the gold and work with that instead of spreading yourself thin with an abundance of copper pennies. Now I’m not saying that you cannot take something bad and transform it, but merely that God has created you so wonderfully specifically that he wants you to develop the traits that He has installed in you. He wants you to focus on who He’s made you and called you to be.
What if you thought about your potential like a piece of gold? Gold is the most malleable of all metals, meaning it can be deformed under stress. So perhaps God gives us each our own unique piece of gold, and it is then up to us to focus on unfolding the vision of where it’s potential is, and then begin molding. Little by little it is transformed into something unique, something only you can create.
So if your life is like a crazy hunting adventure, with thousands of doves in the sky, and find that you aren’t hitting any at all, perhaps the problem is that you are simply trying to hit them all. Friends, narrow your focus and clarify your vision! Like the guide in the story earlier, God will bring us to the site, but we must choose how to exert our energy in the right place, at the right target.
John 16:13 says, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” If the Spirit is speaking, are you listening? Without knowing where you are going, you will surely never reach the destination.