Monday, June 14, 2010

Your Gift Will Make Room for You

A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men. –Proverbs 18:16

After you read this sentence I want you to close your eyes and take a moment to think about that thing that you are certain is your God given gift. Have you identified it? Is it speaking? Writing? Cooking? Advocating for those that cannot advocate for themselves? Educating the masses about a particular issue that needs increased awareness? Now ask yourself, are you using that gift?

Our gifts are not even about us, they actually have the purpose of blessing others, but God is really generous because when we are operating in our gifts we experience a feeling of true bliss. Think about it. Think about the feelings and sensations that you have when you are doing what you know that you have been called to do.

Author, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, describes this as a concept that he calls “Flow” which is defined as, “An experience involving heightened states of awareness, confidence, and performance…Total engagement—you lose yourself in an activity.” This happens because we are engaging in something that taps into our intrinsic motivation which means that we don’t need any external stimulus or reward in order to do this thing. If no one ever told us that we were doing a great job, if no one ever gave us a grade of A, if we never got paid, we could still wake up and do this thing every morning for the rest of our lives and it would bring us joy. So we experience just as much of a benefit if not more as those whose lives we are making a difference in.

If the benefits of our gifts are so vast…then why aren’t more people using them? I’d say that the number one reason is fear. This is interesting though, because a lot of you say that you have faith…but faith and fear cannot co-exist. There has to be one or the other. We make excuse after excuse as to why we can’t do what we know we are supposed to be doing right now. Money, time, our families…the list goes on and on. But did you know that your gift will make room for you? That in itself should be motivation enough to take the leap, but to even further support that, your gift will also give you access to the great. Let me break that down in terms of my experience…

One day it became crystal clear to me that my gift was to encourage others and help them to realize their dreams using my writing and speaking. As soon as I fully immersed myself in that gift, door after door began to open. It is to the point where it feels as if my path is clear and barrier free…I don’t even have to knock anymore because people of high esteem (“The great”) are waiting at the open doors saying, “Hey Monica…come on in!” I am at a point where I have to turn down opportunities because I can only do so much at one time. I’m not trying to brag, but do you know that I have never truly had to look for a job? There was really only one time. When I graduated from graduate school at the University of Michigan with a resume full of credentials and experience I couldn’t seem to find a “job” to save my life. It was at that time that I finally sat down to write my first book. It was a blessing in disguise because if I’d had a job lined up, I never would have sat down to begin putting in the work to prepare to share my gift with the world. Do you see how God works? Ever form of income that I have received since then has come in the form of a job, contract, or opportunity that someone specifically sought me out for and offered to me.

You may still not be convinced because you think you don’t have the time. You might be working toward a certain goal that is time specific and you think that stopping what you are doing to operate in your gift may get in the way. Well let me tell you, based on my experience that If you truly have faith, like you say you do, trust that not only will your gift make a way for you but it will also expedite matters.

As you can see, I could talk about this forever, but I am going to stop here to let what I’ve said marinate. My challenge to you is to stop trying to dictate everything in your life, get in The Passenger’s Seat (This is a teaser for the next motivational message) and let God and your gift lead you. Then sit back and watch how it will make room for you and put you in the presence of the great!

A gift opens doors; it gives access to the great. –Proverbs 18:16

1 comment: