Question 2 from last week’s Eight to Five message – Am I doing my best with what I’ve been given?
My father is one of my heroes, and I can see his influence in several aspects of my life. He was a Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas for over 40 years, and during that time, he impacted thousands of students at crucial times in their lives.
With his background and ability, my father could have pursued some very lucrative career paths, but his calling was to teach. What set him apart as a teacher (and this is according to former students, not just my biased opinion!) was his focus on the individual student. He took the time to pour into their lives whenever he had the chance and on multiple levels. Of course he helped students with the subject matter, but more importantly, he helped many of them navigate the challenges life brings when you are young, out on your own for the first time, not sure of the way forward, questioning what you believe, etc.
The reason I bring up my dad is because he always used to ask me the question at hand (and he still does today). He always phrased the question a little differently, though – Are you living up to your potential?
The visual that usually came along with that question was his left hand-held steady about chest-high, and his right hand moving up and down between chest-high and belly button level. When I was a kid, this visual literally drove me insane! Whether it was from across the room, from up in the stands during a ball game, or any other setting, he never had to say a word – he just used the visual.
I laugh about it now, but that visual is etched on my mind, and it keeps me asking myself the question – Am I doing my best with what I’ve been given?
God has blessed each of us abundantly, and he expects us to use those blessings to glorify Him and help build His kingdom – even in a down season of life. In Matthew 25: 14-30, Jesus gives us the Parable of the Talents, which clearly communicates God’s expectations for us regarding what we are given.
So, are we doing our best with what we’ve been given? If not, don’t be surprised if a 73-year-old retired engineering professor suddenly appears making some funny hand motions and asking if you are living up to your potential!
See you tomorrow when we’ll discuss the next question – Does my attitude reflect what I say I believe?
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Terry Turpin, partner and COO of Acumen Holdings, LLC