What do you want to be for the rest of your life? Even typing the question gives me heart palpitations and brings back flashes of college tours, applications, and the dreaded selection of a major. There’s an urgency and finality to the inquiry that applies pressure. There’s an underlying fear we can miss our potential. But is that possible?
Yes and no.
My husband had his twenty-fifth high school reunion this past weekend, and several people mentioned in conversation that they still didn’t know what they wanted to be when they grew up. Did these people dodge the question, what do you want to be for the rest of your life? Did they choose incorrectly and are now looking for a do-over? Or did they outgrow their original answer and are now looking for the next level in the game of life?
It reminded me of the movie Shazam. Without ruining the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, Shazam is about a boy who suddenly obtains superpowers. He, unfortunately, doesn’t know which superpowers he holds, so his buddy puts him through a series of hysterical tests to discover if he can fly, punch through concrete, shoot lasers with his eyes, or teleport. However, as the hero tries to figure out what he is capable of there is an antihero who is trying to stop him before he reaches his full potential.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 says, Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what and when.
We all have giftings given to us by God. We’re each given different ones at different times. I can’t say if I would have made it as a writer twenty years ago. I had to develop some of my other giftings (like knowing who I am in Christ Jesus) before I could take on the next adventure. Also, like the characters in Shazam, we are our strongest when we use our powers together as a team: encouraging each other, praying for one another, and lifting each other up. We need our team around us because there is a bad guy, Satan, who is trying to keep us from utilizing our superpowers. He’ll do nothing short of lying, deceiving, and stealing to keep us from reaching our potential.
Can we miss out on our purpose? Unfortunately, yes. The devil has been around for a long time and is good at his job, but don’t fear. The one who is in us [the Holy Spirit] is greater than the one [the devil] who is in the world (1 John 4:4). We must not be afraid to test our superpowers. We must step out in faith to discover who God has made us to be so that we can fight for truth, justice, and people’s eternal souls.
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