I am sitting in a coffee shop in Nashville, TN following one of the more impactful weeks I’ve ever experienced. The plan was to fly into Nashville, spend a few days helping my good friend Cyrus establish his business, then travel by car to Louisville, KY and attend the winter LIFE leadership convention, return to Nashville to continue helping Cyrus, then finally head home after seven days. What I didn’t expect was to meet some of the most amazing people ever.
Cyrus, himself, is an amazing person. He gets embarrassed when I speak of him in such ways, but its undeniable. This young man has given more thought and contemplation to the depths and heights of life, truth, and love than any twenty-five year old I’ve ever known. As Jim, my friend and business partner who traveled with me said, “I didn’t come close to thinking this deeply about life when I was his age.” (Let’s just say Jim’s older than twenty-five).
So as Cyrus introduced me to his friends, the phrase “birds of a feather flock together” rang true. He introduced me to some of the most fascinating and sharp people I’ve ever met. I met musicians, athletes, business people, family members, ministers, and politicians. I was introduced to people of vision, purpose, and talent. Jim and I were continually in awe of Cyrus’s circle of influence. The people he associates with are nothing short of amazing, just like he is.
While in Louisville for the Leadership Conference, Orrin Woodward shared the story of Josh Bell, the greatest violinist in the United States and arguably the world. His talent is recognized across the globe and often performs to sold-out auditoriums and receives standing ovations. When he was asked to take part of a “social experiment” he accepted. He was disguised and placed in a Washington D.C. subway where he played as he always does. After half an hour nearly no one acknowledged his talent. The distraction of the hustle and bustle of life caused people to not recognize Josh Bell’s incredible gifts and talents. What’s more amazing is after those thirty minutes, Josh actually began to wonder if he was doing something wrong. I don’t know if he actually doubted his ability or not, but he certainly wondered why people didn’t recognize his talent.
That is what the subways of life can do. They disguise and overshadow amazing talent and cause even the best of minds to doubt themselves. What if Josh Bell never left the subway to begin with? Would his amazing talents been discovered let alone known by the masses? Would he have touched multitudes of lives with his beautiful music if not for his ascension out of the subway to the metropolitan cities of America? I don’t think so.
That is where so many people are in life. They have amazing talents, abilities, dreams, hopes, aspirations, and expectations. Yet so many of them are never noticed, recognized, or acknowledged for those talents. It causes me to wonder about my new-found friends. They are so talented. They have so much to offer. They are well-educated, have sincere desires to seek God and His ways, and from all that I can tell work hard. But will their lives be maximized?
You see, God made all people in His image. Every human being that this earth is graced to have walk its soils has greatness on the inside. But how many of these lives will make a difference? How many of the people who walk this earth and actually desire to fulfill their God-given destinies will do so? And to what extent? It’s true that a few people did acknowledge Josh Bell’s talents, and so he had a small influence, but he was not maximizing his potential influence.
When Orrin was speaking about helping people who wanted to leave the subways of life and enter into the light of the metropolitan, I had a realization. The LIFE business is like a musical instrument. The purpose of a musical instrument is to create various sounds in a manner that they create music for people to hear and enjoy. Often, these instruments are created in a way so that they amplify their tunes. When a musical instrument is connected to speakers or played within an auditorium with proper acoustics, the music can be heard by many more.
The LIFE business takes the talents, abilities, dreams, hopes, aspirations, and expectations of hungry people and amplifies those things to the point that they can have maximum influence. When a person immerses themselves into the culture of LIFE and then puts in the work to succeed and overcome the doubts and obstacles that inevitably come, they can fully expect to see their God-given potential be fulfilled. They are no longer weighed with the distractions of subway living and the busyness of day to day living. They are taught the way to the light of metropolitan living where their gifts and talents can be utilized to affect the masses. And then, they can go back to the subways and lead others out who also dream of great things.
We were all created with amazing potential. In fact, I am beginning to wonder if there is any limit to a human’s potential who is surrendered to the will and power of God. I say this because anyone I’ve read about or known personally whose desire is to maximize their potential, even when they’ve accomplished all they dreamed of, God gives them more. The only thing that has stopped or can stop them is being limited to a period of time to live on this planet. Upon reaching any pinnacle of life, God says, “Great job. Here is the next assignment.” As people who are created in the image of God, we are capable of so, so much.
So thank you, Cyrus, Chad, Brian, Chris, Thomas family, Eric, Brandon, and Ally for opening my eyes even more to the amazing things people are capable of when given a dream. It would almost make one think that Nashville has the market on people with great potential and dreams. But of course not. Everyone is talented and gifted. As Oliver Demille says, all people are geniuses. Everyone has greatness on the inside of them. Everyone has a purpose and incredible potential. We just need more people willing to go into the subways of life and lead people out into the light of the day to maximize the metropolitan to maximize their impact on this world.
God says in Jeremiah 29:11, “I know the thoughts that I think towards you, thoughts of good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We all have a great future ahead of us. And for those who do not see a way out of the subways of life in order to walk out the wonderful future God has in store for them, welcome to LIFE!