I sat beside him as he spoke. It was one of those conversations that I had originally been an active member of; but two people rapidly dominated the conversation to the point where I now was on the verge of feeling like an eavesdropper, rather then a comfortable part of the conversation. But it was too good of a conversation to just up and leave. So, eavesdropper or not, I sat and listened as he shared the burden raging in my own heart.
“It’s just that, I feel like I could be accomplishing so much more. I feel like I’m reaching like 1% of my potential. And honestly, I’ve only seen one or two people who are actually living out their full potential.”
I know he’s not the only one who feels this way.
I’ve met passionate people, people with a vision beyond their own short lives, people with hearts longing to serve Christ to their utmost capacity.
And these passionate believers have been told of exploited women in need of love and the Gospel, of orphans longing for nourishment and a family, of unreached people groups lost without hope.
So these things burden us. They call to us. Our hearts, filled with a vision to inspire, reach, and encourage, and to show Christ to the world, long to fill those needs and fully run our lives for Christ.
Potential With No Place to Go
Passionate people. Real problems. A godly vision.
It’s a perfect equation, and yet so many of us find ourselves living out far less than we are capable of.Passionate people. Real problems. A godly vision. It's a perfect equation, and yet so many of us find ourselves living out far less than we are capable of. Click To Tweet
Eternity is coming. We know it. So why not use up this life for something that counts for eternity? We want to go and be elbow-deep in our passions right now.
Some people will say, “Well, who knows what you might actually be doing here right now? Maybe in eternity you’ll see all the lives you’ve touched.” Which is true enough (although a concept straight from It’s A Wonderful Life), but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re wandering around with a passion in our souls, and only living out a tiny fraction of what we are actually capable of.
Some people say, “Yes, but the people right around you matter just as much as the ones in faraway places.” And I could not agree more. Right where you are is definitely the place to start. But that doesn’t hide the fact that people are starving, and souls are dying without ever even hearing the Gospel.
The need is great. You know it. I know it.
I listened silently as he voiced his frustration with his own life, but inwardly I was turning over the questions, “Why? What can we do to change that? How does someone ‘use up’ more of their potential?”
Take It to the Passion-Giver
If you find yourself with a restlessness, a passion in your soul that has no outlet, I wish I had an easy answer for you. I wish I could take the passions of your heart, and the needs of this broken world, and unite them in God-glorifying ways. Simple.
But you know as well as I do, it isn’t that simple.
Maybe you have a heart to serve refugees, but you’ve never even laid eyes on one before. Maybe you feel called to reach unreached people groups, but find yourself living in the backwoods of Tennessee. Maybe you have a passion for the orphans of Africa, but find yourself stuck in America with an expired passport.
It’s something that each of us has to individually take to the Heavenly Father. I can’t work out your problems, make your passions a reality, or make you make a difference. None of us can. But take your passions and heart for this broken world to the Father who gave it to you and ask him what you should do.
And then wait for his answer. Remember, it’s his good pleasure to open doors and give you the kingdom.
I know that God has a purpose for planting this fire in your bones. Don’t give it up.
When we reach the end of our lives, none of us want to look back in regret that we’ve only lived out a fragment of our potential. At the end of our lives, may each one of us be able to say in good confidence, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).