We were on a walk along the beach when my husband drew my attention to the wall. The solid wall separating two properties had three strategically placed openings. They were in the right places to accommodate the palm trees growing next to it.
It was interesting to see the concession made to nature. The trees would be able to grow and flourish because space had been allowed for them. They had room to spread out as needed.
It made me think of the walls I put up in my life. Do they block me from thriving or allow me space to grow? What I intended for protection may actually be hindering me by holding me back.
When I examine my wall, I see it is built from fear. Fear of failure and fear of rejection are the main building blocks. They are strong, powerful and not easily displaced.
I realize that I, like those trees, need room to grow. This can only happen when I start removing pieces of the wall by opening myself up to new experiences. When the light and space of possibilities reaches me I can grow to the person I was intended to be.
You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety. – Abraham Maslow
I hadn’t seen my thirteen year-old granddaughter in a few weeks and went to give her a big hug. Something felt different and I realized she now surpassed me in height.
When I commented on this she crouched down to make me appear taller. I asked her to stand back up again and told her that I never wanted her to be “less than” she really was.
Later, I explained that we are all equal in God’s sight. She has special talents and abilities to share with the world and playing small robs others of the gifts she has to share.
In the book, Return to Love, Marianne Williams said “Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
This may have been a deep message to give someone my granddaughter’s age. I understand what a crucial time this is in her life and I remember the self-doubts that started in my teens and continued for many years.
They are still able to interfere with my life today. Perhaps the message was as much for me as it was for her. My talents and abilities are not the same as hers but each of us is an important part of the body of Christ. As such we need to rise to our full potential and use the gifts we’ve been given.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. (Romans 12:4-6 NLT)