I spent the weekend at BreakForth and one of the last keynotes was by Nick Vujicic, the well-known speaker who was born without arms or legs. He shared how he tried to commit suicide at age ten. He flipped himself over three times in 18 inches of bathwater, but he said he aborted his attempt because "I loved my parents more than me and I couldn't do that to them."
That vision drilled into the depths of my subconscious and resurfaced a couple of nights ago in a nightmare. I saw a young man, turning round and round in water well over his head. Light filtered like stars from the surface. I was a terrified witness; completely submerged yet still able to breathe, but not close enough to reach him. It was evident that he was trying to drown himself. My only thought was to communicate, "There is so much potential for life!"
C.S. Lewis said,
We can never know what might have been but what is to come is another matter entirely.
I have always loved that idea and I think it is very wise counsel to give a person who is despairing of life. Even in the the darkest pit, everyone needs to know that "This too shall pass" and that better days are possible. "While we are still living, some good might yet come," Lewis affirms.
There is so much potential for life. How can I help unleash the potential for life and creativity in another person? This is the passion of Erwin McManus' life and he calls out that hero in others. One of the most surprising things he said at BreakForth was that we should be listening to others, first and foremost, rather than pushing our own agenda. He expanded on this:
Don't start with what matters to you. Start with what matters to them. The person in power should take on the posture of a listener rather than filling the room with your ideas. Your idea cannot be your pet lamb. It has to become the sacrificial lamb. Pay attention to the accidental genius of everyone in the room. Extricate out of everyone's soul that creative spark that God has given them. Unleash their dreams, not yours. Entrust your dreams to God.
Maybe the highest calling isn't to be what your parents said you should be. Maybe leadership is really being a follower in the same life as Jesus lived it. Maybe the greatest goal is to be nothing so that others can be famous. How can you be sure that fighting for your own dreams won't destroy someone else? How does love become the watchword of my life?
McManus is a pastor. He is also now making and distributing fashion clothing and accessories. His reason? I'll let you hear it in his words, copied from his website:
Three words inform everything we do- beauty, story, and meaning. These words are infused in every project and every product. Everything that bears our brand is a work of art crafted for your enjoyment. Everything we create tells the story of honor, courage, adventure, and heroism. Everything we create is meant to inspire creativity, imagination, artistry, and hope. Everything that carries my name brings a commitment of integrity for both the quality of the product you receive and the process we engage to bring it to you. And in all of our work we have a deep passion and commitment to make the world a better place.
Our products were made to be a part of your journey.
You will find your story here.
So. Whose dreams can you unleash today? Find yours as you help others find theirs. There is SO much potential for life. Break out the hero!