In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell makes this observation:
“We make rules to frustrate achievement. We prematurely write off people as failures. We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And, most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play – and by “we” I mean society – in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.”
Gladwell is reflecting on elite athletes and the distinct advantage there was for those who were born in the first half of the year. Looking through various statistics Gladwell noted that if you were born in the second half of the year there is a bias which makes it almost impossible to play elite sports. He suggests that in multiple arenas in our society, we have structures which simply give some people an advantage and prematurely write others off.
What is fascinating is that when we look at Scripture, we find that this is not the case with God. He is not scanning the world for those who are simply born at the right time, in the right place, with the highest IQ or with so many other advantages which are part of our structures. He sees the potential inside every human being and does extraordinary things through many who the world would have written off.
Moses, a murderer hiding away in self imposed exile as a shepherd is called to lead the people of Israel to freedom from slavery. David, the forgotten son of Jesse is the one God calls to be king. Matthew the tax collector, a social outcast is invited to be one of Jesus’ twelve. Over and over again the pattern is repeated by God.
If you have ever felt forgotten, written off, or a failure then look to God. He doesn’t see you that way. Perhaps in you He sees the next Moses, David or Matthew? Perhaps He sees potential in you our culture has missed, and He is ready to do great things through you.