A couple years ago, a newsletter email came into my inbox from Tricia Goyer. It was on New Year’s Day, I believe, and was introducing a new Facebook group she’d created, called Write That Book! (Great group, by the way). But part of her intro was a musing that has stuck with me all these years.
She said that God did not create us as blank slates. He created us with predilections and leaning, with yearnings and talents. He created us to be good at certain things and not so good at others. There is, of course, always room to improve, we can learn skills we weren’t necessarily born with, and how we were raised certainly plays a part in what we have the opportunity to explore.
But some people are simply music lovers. Some people are storytellers. Some people are artists. Some people are mathematicians. Some people are mechanics.
Even when it seems unlikely that someone with a particular talent will rise out of the shadows of a certain life they were born into, those things will shine through. You can find storytellers and artists and mechanical geniuses among every class.
Because God didn’t make us as blank slates. He created us with a purpose–for a purpose. He created us as rich, complex, beautiful people.
So if God created us to have a yearning toward X, Y, or Z … why do we so often ignore it? Push it aside? Why do we think it less important than this other thing that could maybe make us some quick money or keep us in insurance? We’re told over and over in the Bible to trust Him for our needs and simply follow Him.
Well, I’m going to say here and now that following Him means living out what He’s called us to, what He’s made us for. Following Him meant, for Peter, being bold and daring; it meant, for Paul, traveling the known world; it meant, for Michelangelo, carving a magnificent biblical hero; it meant, for Bach, writing music about His death and resurrection. It means, for me, writing stories.
What does it mean for you?
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken to over the years who view their talents and loves as less than. Not necessarily less than someone else’s (though that comes up too!), but less than the “ought to” that the world tells us we should be focused on. They feel guilty for the time spent creating or exploring this thing they love. They feel like they have no right to do it, and they ought to be focusing on more “practical” things instead.
Well, friends, I’m going to echo the wise Tricia Goyer here, and say “God did not make you a blank slate.” He made you with these loves and yearnings. He made you to be creative as He is creative, in His image. He made you to glorify Him through the passions He has put on your heart. So when you do that, you are living out His calling and glorifying Him through your actions.
And when you don’t…?
Have we ever really paused to consider that? That if He created us with a beautiful singing voice and a love for music, we are in fact denying Him if we don’t use it to lift those voices in praise to the Almighty? Imagine what it would mean for all of us today if David had put aside his music-making and poetry-writing dreams because it was deemed impractical for a shepherd, or that he ought to be focusing solely on running a kingdom?
Well guess what–God loves you every bit as much as He loved David. God created you just as carefully, just as beautifully. God created each of us with our own special way to praise Him. Maybe that’s through music or numbers or words or mechanical things; maybe it’s through growing things or sewing things or making meals to feed His children; maybe it’s through teaching or preaching or running or swimming. Whatever it is, when we’re living out our full potential–the potential HE created–we are pleasing Him.
What is it you have always loved to do, that you take joy in? Are you delighting Him and delighting in Him by walking in those joys?