Your life is productive when you exploit your God-given potential. Your abilities, gifts and talents can remain untapped and unused and therefore not useful to anyone, including yourself. Potential refers to dormant ability, untapped strength and hidden talents. It is a latent power in you. However, you can make your potential to be kinetic by using and actually maximising it.
Unless you do something beyond what you have done, you will never develop your potential. Never settle for what you have accomplished. Success is a great enemy of potential. You are not yet what you are supposed to be. Aim to be a better person than you were last year.
Since 2004 I have been compiling my writings into books every year. And I have been congratulating myself on my success and achievements. I believed that was the best I could do. However, in 2015, I wanted to write a book and donate to the Anglican Diocese of Nnewi for the Synod holding in my town, Okija, in Anambra State. The book I was planning for the year would not be suitable for that purpose. Therefore, I embarked on another book, titled, “The Living Sacrifice”, and completed it before the Synod held in May, 2015. Thereafter, I proceeded with the book I had intended for that year.
Having produced two books in that year, I realised that I have the potential for producing two books annually but I limited myself to only one book. Consequently, in 2016 I stretched myself and published “Enjoying Abundance of Life” and “Your Work is Your Life”. That gave me the confidence that I can still publish two books this current year. And if I have the courage, I can target even three books. We need to improve on whatever we do to develop our potential. Dwelling on past successes is an enemy of progress.
God is the Source of your potential. You must remain attached to Him in order to be productive. Just as fish cannot live without water and plants cannot survive without soil, you cannot live successfully without God. Potential is related to the source and all created things must be maintained by their source. Therefore, if you decide to do away with God, you will never become the person you were created to be.
Jesus, in John 15: 5 says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” You cannot fulfil your true potential without being connected to God. If Jesus says He is the true vine, then there must be false, fake or counterfeit vines also. If you abide in them, you cannot fulfil your life purpose. You cannot depend on the riches, awards, recognition, accolades and honours that the world gives you to be the person God created you to be. Superficially, these things seem gratifying, but in reality they are false vines; and even if you bear fruit in them, it will be a fake one.
Intellectual ability is one of the false vines on which some people depend as their source of potential. This has caused the downfall and destruction of many brilliant scholars.
When I was in the secondary school, in the 50s, our Religious Knowledge teacher led us to study some books of the Bible. The book of Genesis starts with: “In the beginning God created the heaven and earth.” God created all things and then made man in His own image. At the same time, the Biology master had, among his topics, the theory of biological evolution, developed by an English naturalist, Charles Darwin (1809-1882). His great knowledge of nature caused him to believe that all natural species of organisms developed through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. According to the theory, man was not created by God. Charles Darwin made his knowledge his source instead of God Almighty.
Recently, I read from one the dailies the interview granted by Professor Cecilia Igwilo, the first female Professor of Pharmacy in West Africa, who was recently named a Distinguished Professor of the University of Lagos. The interviewer asked her what legacy she would love to be known for. I believe the interviewer must have expected her to tell the world about how her academic prowess would make her known all over the world. Her response, however, came as a surprise. I quote here exactly what she said: “Well, I have not achieved yet. I will keep pressing forward until I get to the mark. I mean, until I see the Lord Jesus. That, for me, is the most important thing for living.”
That concise answer has a deep meaning. Her life is not about honours and awards but to fulfil her divine assignment and receive the eternal rewards which are only possible through our Lord Jesus Christ. That, to me, is someone abiding in the true vine which can give life. No amount of education can give life. Only the Source of life can give life.