Read this stunning quote by the legendary artist, Pablo Picasso: “When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.”
We should all want to achieve greatness. We shouldn’t wake up each morning and think to ourselves, hmm…how can I be mediocre? Most would agree, that in order to do anything exceptional in life, confidence is a necessary ingredient.
Consider the Biblical story of a young child named Samuel (I Samuel 3). In brief, he lived in the temple so to be mentored by the resident priest Eli. The story goes that Samuel heard a voice calling out to him in the middle of the night. Not knowing any better, Samuel assumed the voice was Eli. One translation said that Samuel “ran” to Eli, perhaps just out of curiosity, to answer the call. Much to Samuel’s surprise, it wasn’t Eli’s voice that he had heard. Oddly enough, the mysterious voice called out to Samuel again, this time, perhaps more out of confusion, Samuel approaches Eli, who told him once again, that he did not call him, and told Samuel to go back to bed! Finally, after this happened a third time, Eli’s response to Samuel’s curiosity and confusion leads to him confidently knowing that it was the Lord that was trying to speak to him. And this time, Eli told Samuel exactly what to do, to respond with this phrase: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (I Samuel 3:9, NIV).
This prompted me to realize that experiencing curiosity, and confusion, just might be a frequent, and well-traveled path to confidence.
- Being curious is not a bad thing. We learn by being curious. As a child, if you’re curiosity led to you touching a hot stove, chances are pretty good that you learned your lesson, and now you don’t (intentionally at least) make that same mistake. Samuel’s curiosity launched his personal journey to becoming more confident in knowing whose mysterious voice it was that was calling out to him.
- Because he was venturing into unfamiliar territory, Samuel was confused as to who it was that was “calling” him. Common sense said it was the guy in the other room, Eli, as opposed to who it actually was, God! There will always be times of confusion on your path to confidence. It’s just a necessary part of the learning process.
- Ultimately, this is where we want to all end up. Not cocky, but confident. Whatever your calling is in life, I challenge you to intentionally choose the path to confidence. It will have its fair share of bumps in the road, along with failures, and disappointments, maybe a setback or two, but they are necessary stages of defeat, so that one day you will be able to enjoy to taste of success.
As I frequently tell my children, “There is greatness in you!”. I believe the same applies for you today. Let your curiosity and your confusion lead you down the path to confidence, where I know you can and will be great!
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