Maximize Your Potential By Recognizing Foundational Strengths
Once upon a time, I lived in the house that you see in the photograph. When I was eight, my family moved. I had no choice but to go with them. (ha!)
The house has changed over the years but many of the features that I remember are there. The yard where I played ball with my collie named Laddie is essentially the same, terraced and sloping down to the rock wall and to the street below where I rode my tricycle. One of those big rocks fell on my toes when my trike’s tire bumped it.
The brick has been painted and the screened porch has been enclosed. One thing can never change, though. On top of that hill in that house were my formative years.
The walls, the roof overhead, the voices of hundreds of days where I experienced my earliest relationships with people and things are there. I’ve found them embedded, still in my memory. The clothesline out back and the 1950 Buick in the garage. And Beulah who came to see that I was cared for and loved in the way only she could.
I had to become much older to recognize the foundation strength that took root in those formative years when I wasn’t even aware.
Maximize Your Potential By Renewing Hope
The influence during those years when I lived in the house on the hill remains unchanged by time and its fickle exploits. Chances are slim that the structure itself had anything to do with establishing my potential, but inside existed many of the raw materials that prepared me for the future.
Living in an environment with parents who modeled time-honored values was key. “Dream big, play hard, work hard, and do unto others the way you would have them do unto you, go to church, read your Bible.” And always, hope.
The character Simon Hagan in my book EASTBOUND FROM FLAGSTAFF epitomizes that strength. He left behind roots that were his foundational strength and foraged through a tough world. He learned to love life even when he couldn’t control it.
A devastating fire in our neighborhood and the tragic death of our family doctor were realities in my early years in the house on the hill. But the hardest reality was moving away—not across town but to a different state. Having to leave Beulah behind when the time came to move was like uprooting a rose bush in full bloom.
Even as an eight-year-old I had to build hope in new people and surroundings. That’s not really so unusual since all our days are fresh and different, infused with options to renew or rebuild our hope and thereby maximize our potential for living life victoriously.
Maximize Your Potential By Shedding Past Mistakes
Most of us know that for a plant to grow it has to have roots. For it to survive — in most cases, anyway — it needs water and air and light. It is interesting to see how plants grow toward the light, like the bird’s nest fern I have in my kitchen. I have to rotate it to face the sunshine so that it continues to grow upright.
We cannot focus on the past and live in the sunshine. This very practical Bible verse packed with great advice says it another way:
“. . . forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward calling of God . . .” Philippians 3: 13,14
Today’s a good day to grow toward the light.
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