Grow Real Capacity: Potential can be a Dead End!
Potential or Reality?
We are not our potential, We are our current reality
We are what we can do now, We may be open to many possibilities
Like apps to learn, And degrees we can attain
A million dollars out there, Purposes to potentially pursue
There’s no reason to fake it, Potential remains a mirage
We are not those purposes, Until we actually arrive there
Sometimes, we estimate and hope to reward ourselves based on what we can potentially be. Employers of labour and human capacity professionals will say No! They cannot pay for what you hope to be. They will pay for what you are today.
To lift weights, and bear heart-felt strain
To carry nations, to bring administration
Be of service to all, inclusive of competing assertions
To bring along another budding creative generation
To be a true icon, brimming with inspiration
These reach beyond potential, you need ability!
Example in History
In Scottish History, there was a time when potential alone was not enough; we can glean lessons from this era.
King Alexander the III of Scotland had been a phenomenal king. He was able to protect the West of Scotland from Norway, something his father Alexander the II was unable to do. He established peace with England, brought about economic self-sufficiency and improved social and community life across Scotland. He was recognised as a European Prince, a place of honour all Scottish people would want to have even today. During his reign, Scotland are recognised as their own people in Europe and equal to the English Crown. The pomp of royalty, recognition and accolades for the great European Prince and his realm in Scotland did not go on forever.
The mighty King Alexander III of Scotland died.
“Alexander died in 1286, involved in an accident while travelling to see his new wife. His only surviving heir, his three-year-old granddaughter Margaret, daughter of King Eric of Norway, was sent for, but it was clear that a child so young would need a guardian to manage the kingdom until she was old enough to rule. Alexander had already secured the agreement of the nobles that Margaret was heir in the tailzie (decree) of 1284. The deaths of his three children by this date had created a potential crisis and Alexander hoped to ensure peace by guaranteeing the secession.”
These guardians (two carls, two barons and two bishops), more or less ruled the realm, and continued to determine the affairs of the land until the substantive queen Margaret got to the age of majority. Though she had potential and was next in line to be the Queen of Scotland, she had no capacity to embrace what was down to her, until the right age of majority.
Heir under Schoolmasters
We are all much like this. Capacity separates us all from our highest ideal. Here is a quote from Scriptures:
“Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children."
Children of God
Everyone who accepts the grace of God in his or her life, receives the potential to become like God. Afterwards, they need to grow, get weaned of milk, eat solid food and cultivate mastery. Though heirs of God’s great treasures, they are only able to bring to fruition the rights and privileges of sonship when they understand and deploy them. They can only use at each time what is appropriate for their spiritual age. God hardly denies any of His children the time tested principle of process in growing them.
Many times God in His infinite mercy will deploy a miracle to save the day, but in the journeys and allegories of the Bible, we always see training and process as God's preferred way to work.
· Moses: Trained 40 years in the wilderness to lead the people of Israel
· Jacob: Trained for 14 years under Laban, a harsh task master
· Jesus: Trained 33 years for His 3 and 1/2 year ministry.
Most men of old as we see in the hall of faith (Hebrews 11), had a gruelling process of upbringing to qualify them for what they became. God does not deny the existence of negativity, lack, poverty, slavery and oppression in the world. He uses them, working through their impetus to craft capacity and turn our potential into true energy. What we go through makes us who we are. As they say:
"What does not kill you make you stronger"
This is not a denial of grace, rather grace is what God pours into us so we are able to arrive at maturity through our missteps in the process of life. Even when we do not feel qualified for this, grace leads us to limitless possibilities.
Who are the Tutors and Governors?
- The Boss who trains, inspires, guides and probably reads out the riot act to you at work;
- The Coach, the trainer, your dietician, who trains you to be your best;
- The teacher who caters to your academic goals but also develops and curries the appropriate life skills around you;
- The Pastor who inspires, shares, points the direction, acts as a voice of reason and steadiness in our worldly maze of uncertainly;
- Your Parents who seem to hold the gavel on what’s right and what’s wrong until we come up to maturity.
Grow Up. Build your Capacity!
When we grow up to become sons, We learn decorum above self-will
Not to put pleasure before work, How sacrifice is higher than entitlement
That the greatest is the servant, To let go of our rights and privileges
To give is better than to receive, to love is better than to be loved
This is how to grow capacity, This is how to be more.
We are full-grown when our estate is ours,
Our discretion though still and always indispensable
We become our absolute best and most dependable
Living life that’s genuine, packed and tolerable
Rising above potential, embracing pain and victory same
We grow real Capacity.