The inimitable historian, David McCullough, has churned out another masterpiece in his new book, The Wright Brothers. Chronicling their lives before, on, and after that famous December day in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, McCullough, in his unique way, peels back the layers of the people who made the history. One particular example of this is seen in the author’s conveyance of Wilbur Wright’s misgivings about what he was going to make of his life. Writing to his older brother Lorin, Wilbur said, “The boys of the Wright family are all lacking in determination and push. That is the very reason that none of us have been or will be more than ordinary businessmen” (24). It is amusing to think that Wilbur made this statement in 1894, less than a decade before that historic first flight. Every airplane trip you make is a testimony to the Wrights’ determination, push, and extraordinary industry of the bicycle shop brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright.
What do you see when you look at your life? Are you dismissive of your talents and opportunities? Do you think yourself in terms of your “can’ts” or your “cans”? Perhaps you are prone to discount your potential.
If that is you, you should consider the case of a few other people. Moses resisted leadership, claiming to be a nobody (Exo. 3-4). Saul hid himself in the baggage (1 Sam. 10:22). Jeremiah apparently tried to hide behind his age (Jer. 1:6-7). Timothy seems to have been fearful (2 Tim. 1:7). Yet, each rose to a position of greatness and played an important part in God’s plan. What was the “X” factor in every case? As God told Judah through Jeremiah, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11). Solomon would say, “Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established” (Pro. 16:3). Then, a millennia later, Paul tells the church at Philippi, “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phi. 2:13).
Relax! Take the pressure off of yourself because, frankly, it is not about you. It is about the God who is at work in you. Chart a course that puts Him first in your life and dedicate yourself to trying, as hard as you can, to please Him. Isn’t He strong and smart enough to open the right doors? Is He able to do great things? Yes! The incredible thing about that is that He has chosen to do great things through lowly people like you and me! Stop and consider this. What does God see in you? What will He do through you to His glory? Never stop asking that question!