Can I do it? A fundamental question of humankind. Yet almost erroneous from the start. The subject and focus of the question is us (the “I”). Can I do it? It assumes sort of an isolated go at the whole thing where we bear all responsibility.
And in today’s corporate understanding of responsibility there is the loaded word “accountability.” People are held responsible to produce certain results or be let go. Trying is not enough. Outcomes demand results, not logged office hours.
But ownership is a good thing. Certainly. We want people to “own” their endeavors. Yes. But what most people mean by that is make sure it works, or succeeds. Hence the hubris and the fear mongering. Can we really know what will work?
Is our job to do only what works? Certainly we celebrate leaders with the “golden touch,” who decision after decision turned out success. But why? What made them so inevitable and almost invincible? Was it “ownership” or more like a kid playing?
There is a stunning beauty to one who is not “trying” too hard. That, of course, is the tension and the mystery of the whole thing. Those with special gifts really aren’t trying that hard. They care deeply but it comes quite naturally for them.
That’s how gifts work. They sneak into us and even out of us. They come so naturally that we can’t take credit for them. Yet they are so undeniable that others absolutely affirm them. We are left in awe sort of watching it all come together.
Certainly not all with a gift are people we have heard of. There have been many who never made a international name for themselves. Some were very content using their talents on a local level. But certain gifts almost demand an audience.
Not out of a fame fiend but out of the very nature of the gift. There is a destination with the package. There is a goal with the gift. And that is not entirely up to the person for whom the gift is bestowed. The gift will itself make room for itself.
But there is a great cost for this process. It will require everything. Some misinterpret the ease of the gift with desired ease of its coming out. As we said, the gift does not come with instructions but it does come with a destination.
Getting to that destination will not be easy. Using the gift is easy. Everything else will be hard. Some, thinking everything should be as the use of their gifts, will be unable to continue in their use. They will run into trial and flee from the pain.
It will be hard! Getting to the next right step will not be easy. Great faith is required, even for the non-religious. Some words of faith are required to lure us through the trial of testing, as Beatrice for Dante’s pilgrim through the fires of purgatory.
The only way to make it is bathed is hope, and hope comes at great cost. Hope is the end of the testing, not the beginning. As the scriptures say, “suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope” (Rom 5.4).