Excerpted from The Quest
The Common Denominator
There are certain people whom we, personally, enjoy being with or listening to or watching on television. As we began to analyze it, we discovered that these people are about as diverse as people can get. The next and really surprising discovery we made was that these people talked about things in which we have not even the slightest interest!
We love to watch a certain chef on television, for instance. We watch with fascination as she discusses French cuisine and puts together elaborate gourmet meals. We also enjoy seeing a home carpentry show, where the host might be constructing a cedar chest or rocking chair. We especially like a television program which shows the intricacies of planting and managing a vegetable garden.
This puzzled us, since we are not intrigued by gourmet food, have not the slightest interest in doing any cabinetmaking, and don't have the time to plant a garden. Why then, we wondered, are we so captivated by these various people?
It occurred to us that the people which we enjoy so much have one thing in common: they are being true to themselves. Each one is genuine-totally absorbed in what he or she is doing and not afraid to be an authentic individual, even when it means launching out into the deep waters where others do not fish. In fact, they are unique and interesting, with so much to offer, because they dare to cast their nets in the deep, without concern for playing it “safe.”
In her excitement, the gourmet chef often drops food on the floor, she’ll wipe her counter up with a less than spanking clean towel, she'll pat the fish she's about to bake and speak lovingly to it! She is so enthusiastic about creating the meal that she doesn’t even care. She is too busy enjoying being her authentic self, and so we enjoy it too.
The cabinetmaker is so skilled with his tools, so totally absorbed in creating his furniture and in being his authentic self, that we enjoy watching him work even though there are long periods of silence as he becomes totally engrossed in his woodworking.
The horticulturist is so on fire with love and excitement about his plants and seeing them grow that we enjoy watching him be his authentic self, in spite of the fact that we have little interest in his subject.
A Different Beat
Those who are being what they were meant to be and sharing their authenticity with others are not usually found in the shallows. They are not afraid to “march to a different drummer,” as Thoreau said.
The authentic ones hear a different beat than the masses hear. They are not concerned that they might appear to be “out of step.” They don't care at all if they are!
You yourself are now marching to a different drummer. You have heard the call and launched out for the deeper waters. The treasure of living a God-guided, God-centered life is yours. You are an authentic being overflowing with the richness of your unique gift. If you have still been occasionally cast your nets into the shallow waters, now is the time to launch out fearlessly. The nets can only be filled with the treasure when they are no longer cast where the treasure is not.
Push away from the shore. Fear not, for it is the way you have chosen. It is your own unique way and belongs to you alone. Dare to be yourself.