It seems to me that one of the worst two-word combinations in the English language is UNFULFILLED POTENTIAL! Studies show that most human beings use only about 10% of their capacities throughout life.
I was recently teaching at Harvest Institute, the leadership development school here at Worship Harvest when I ran into an epiphany-like ambush. I was having a great time facilitating when I suddenly saw it! I looked across the room and started seeing what these eighty or so people could become, while relating it to their current experience of life, and what the future might turn out to be for them unless something major shifted on the inside. When I saw the possibility of unfulfilled potential for even one of them, never mind for all of us in the room, I couldn’t handle it anymore.
I cried. No, I actually wept. Scratch that, I WAILED!!! I couldn’t believe what was going on! I had suddenly been seized by this vision of what people could become, versus what many of them would actually become. I wailed for their dreams. I wailed for our future. I wailed for their children; all our children. I wailed for that multi billionaire who will never see so much as a few thousands. I wailed for that writer whose hundreds of books will never be written and therefore read. I wailed for that musician whose thousands of songs will die inside. I wailed for that artist, whose works could influence millions, who is getting by in a job where they are not even gifted. I wailed for that pastor and evangelist, who was to lead millions to God’s saving love, but has settled for the pursuits of this world. I wailed for that business woman whose global business is still stuck on paper. I wailed for that political leader, whose message of hope and reconciliation we’ll never hear because they’ve chosen fear. I wailed for that inventor, whose technological idea will have to wait for a generation because they haven’t developed it. I wailed… for our country and our continent. A continent so rich and so endowed with resources, whose people have been reduced to beggars in their own land.
Can you imagine what God goes through, seeing billions of His children and all the great things they could become (because He created us to become all that), while we constantly choose a small life? That morning, having experienced that for a few people in a room, I had a renewed respect for God and what He is able to bear!
As John Maxwell pointed out, it seems like everything God has created is doing all that is possible to explore its full potential and reach the limits, except human beings. The tree in the forest is going to grow to the tallest it could ever be. The cat in the wild is going to run the fastest it could ever run. The vine in the garden is going to creep to the furthest it could ever creep. Everything seems to be reaching for the limits and testing the boundaries, except human beings, because God has given us the will to either reach our potential or simply exist. Unfortunately, most people have chosen to settle for less.
Most people will never have the influence they were created to have. Most people will never reach and help all the people they were created to reach. Most people will never make all the money they were created to make. Most people will never invent the things they were created to invent. Most people will never write the books, sing the songs, preach the sermons, run the businesses, change the communities, run for the offices… whatever it is; most people will never be all that they could be. As Myles Munroe used to say, the richest place on earth is the graveyard. In there you’ll find millions of unwritten books, unsung songs, unopened businesses, undrawn art pieces, un-invented machines, unlived dreams, unfulfilled potential.
But thank God that YOU who is reading this are not like most people. You are different. You are uniquely gifted. You are walking this journey of life with a positive stance. You want to explore the possibilities. You are choosing a life of purpose as opposed to an accidental one. You are going to be all that you were created to be. You are DAILY doing something to push you to your destiny. You won’t let all that stuff on the inside of you get to the graveyard. You refuse to die an unlived life. You are FULFILLING YOUR POTENTIAL!