We all love blank spaces. The white blank walls, the white blank paper, the clear blue sky are all examples of blank spaces. We just love blank spaces. Why? Somehow it incites creativity and toys with possibility, attracts a lot of resources and makes what I call the ‘creativity cocktail’ for the bored human being. As a kid you are drawn to the blank walls and when you run out of paper, the walls seem to be a perfect substitute.
What I’d like to tell you guys today is that life in itself is a blank space and it incites creativity and toys with possibility in ways that man cannot even begin to describe. It is perhaps the uncertainty of what ends up filling this space that make us push ourselves to the limit.
When we start our journey on this earth as mere infants, we are the most joyful and excited. For us then, that paper of life not yet lived is blank and full of possibility and at its peak level of ‘blankness’. But as time passes on we realise that what we had imagined is a lot harder to transfer to the paper than we thought. When we realise that, we become discouraged. I love to paint and though I never went for classes it has been one of my hobbies for a very long time. Before I paint I imagine a picture in my mind and everytime I do that I get so thrilled. But my paintings are never like the ones I imagine.
A long time back in the 19th century, painters would line the streets of Paris with trolleys filled with giant canvases to get approval from the jury for the Salon, the greatest art show in the world, so that they could display their work. The work had to be without blemish in every sense. The paintings accepted then were nothing like the modern art we have today. The lines were perfect and you couldn’t spot one mistake in those precious pieces of 19th century art. They would be hung for a day or two at the Salon. Many were rejected. The rejected left discouraged, vowing never to look at a canvas again. In many ways I feel that’s what life’s like for many of us. A chance to showcase ourselves in front of the world. Though we may hang in there, in the spotlight only for a very short time, we are ready to make the effort. But when we get rejected, we stop trying.
Are what we have on our once blank papers worth anything to others? Is it worth starting a youtube channel to publish our new songs? Is it worth it trying to write that book? Would we be rejected again?
Sometimes what we often don’t realise about our lives is the number of people influenced by it. There are people all around you who look up to you, even without you knowing it. Sometimes people are astonished when others come up to them and tell them that they are inspiring. This unknown admiration has in many ways now been taken to a new level by the digital connections we have.
We often believe we have to be famous and rich to influence. We often underestimate the influence of a person who may not be famous or rich. We live in a very socially connected world. As a result people could be living normal lives one day and become pop stars and famous youtubers the next. Though fame and wealth brings with it resources to polish your talents and better yourself at what you do best, the influential people we see today were a very significant part of who they are now when they were not famous or rich. They just chose not to underestimate their seemingly ordinary influence when they had it. They made the most of it. It is very possible that we have better singers and artists out there than the ones we see. What takes them to the next level is how they look at the influence they have in that moment in time, however insignificant it might be.
We sometimes evaluate our worth based on all these scales of popularity, wealth, success etc. In truth, that is not at all what gives you worth. The very fact that God gave you a life on this planet shows that you are worth something. It is ultimately what you think of yourself that will bring you to greater arenas. It is what you think of yourself that will radiate from you and on to the others around you, the limited influence you have.
As a Christian, I find my worth in how God looks at me. Though I am flawed, he looks at me with acceptance and love through His son. I choose to remind myself that everyday. You have to always have a stronghold in life, where you know that you are loved. That is why you have to be careful who you are around with. Are you around people who choose not to value the limited influence they have? Or are you around people who believe in you and in life. Your family, your friends, they can all be your stronghold in hard times.
You can bring people up or throw them down with your limited influence. A single word is enough to change the course of the world. It is up to you whether you are going to carry your fellow human beings in this journey of life or throw them down.
Look at Anne Frank. She never even knew that what she wrote in that precious little diary during the passing fearful days of the war would be one day, sitting on the shelves of millions of people around the world. Time pulled out her limited influence and showed it to the world.
You might be reading this today and you might be going through that phase in life where you are thinking: Am I worth something? Are you that person whose new book did not get published?
I hope I can make you realise how much a human life is worth and how dramatic and powerful the limited influence is. It is explosive, powerful and the underestimated key to many of the doors that have been shut in your face.
The question is whether or not you are going to use what you have now. God is out there full of love for you, cheering you on and I am here cheering you on as well.
Take a step of faith and try again.
Good luck and Godspeed!!!