“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Today we begin the season that Christians call Lent. We will see many people walking around with black smudges on their foreheads. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. They remind us of our death! We begin Lent by going to the end of the journey, the end of the story.
I believe it’s needed. We need to see those dark smudges. We need to be reminded that we will someday die. Do we want to die with our story, as Maya Angelou reminds us, going untold? Remaining inside of us? Putting our light under the bushel basket, as scripture reminds us?
I’m in awe of Nathan Chen, the figure skater from the USA. He is the first person to EVER attempt and do a quadruple jump in the Olympics! How great is that! And to think that 30 years ago, no one would have ever thought it could be done!
Nathan is living his purpose. Nathan is living his potential. Are we? We may not be called to do quadruple jumps on the ice (and for very good reasons!), but we are sure as h*%# called to live our greatest purpose and potential. Our story is to be told. It is not to become like ashes.
Do you even know what your story is? Your purpose is? Your potential is? Might these next 40 days be a journey of giving up living small and starting to find that deeper purpose, meaning and potential?
For starters, what might it mean to live your potential? Potential is a word that means “power, strength.” Might starting to live your potential mean doing something that takes you beyond your current place or your limited understanding of yourself? Might living your potential mean using “muscles” that you’ve never used before? Or using them beyond what you’ve ever done before! At the very least, living your potential is a means of stretching...beyond what you thought you could do, beyond the present story you and I are telling ourselves.
What is one thing that you can do today that will start telling your story in a new way? Big or small, it doesn’t matter. As you and I see the ashes today, let them be a reminder that we have a story to tell! Kick those ashes to the curb and start living the story of your potential!