The Potential to Miss

When living up to your potential still misses the mark of purpose.

"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
-Mark 10:45

The major theme of this social media sabbatical during Lent has been taking the time I waste and putting it towards the calling on my life.  I listened to this amazing message from Pastor Mike Todd, The Missing Link, and it was so on time for the work God is doing in my heart.

I don't want to reteach this, but instead share some of my own takeaways.  I encourage you to watch the message and share your own takeaways with me in the comments.

  • I have so much potential - I can do so many things well, and others acknowledge this.  This becomes a trap, though, because then I want to perform for others in it and be all things to everyone.  That's rooted in my own abandonment issues, but it's real.
  • If I strive to fulfill my potential, that can seem noble.  After all, God put that potential in me.  But it's futile.  Just because I can design websites, publish books, create online courses, and teach language arts does not mean I need to do them all intensely.
  • In fact, by focusing on various things, I will only do them all well on a surface level, never going deep.  Depth takes focus and time.  You can't rush depth.  You have to spend time in that thing, learning it inside and out, working it, growing your gifting in it.
  • Instead of shooting for potential, the mark is to hit purpose.  Purpose is the ultimate calling God has designed me for, why He created Michael Tatonetti to be born when I was, marry who I did, father who I have, and have the bent of the arrow that I do.
  • Chasing potential is chasing talents - the talents are a means to an end (purpose), not the end themselves.  It's easy to idolize potential.
  • We are called to subdue and have dominion.  That means mastering my talents and aiming them at my purpose, not whatever will make a quick buck the easiest in that moment.  Talents need to be filtered through purpose.

Yes, I am continuing to find rest in Jesus, but I'm convicted that I need to stop focusing on short-term things that make money or get accolades because I'll miss going deep in my long-term purpose.  It isn't about me, it's about growing through discipleship in Jesus so that I can make the impact He is calling me to.