Checkpoint (Again).

Of course, writing around 2 hours before I need to go and talk about something is therapeutic and recommended, but I certainly would not recommend typing and writing on the actual topic on that particular time frame. There are things that could have been realized along the way in case you were able to figure things out a lot earlier. The thoughts, the thoughts that make their way into our heads as speakers count in so many way. I could just keep on going, keep on typing, and I definitely will right now. I need to flow.

Yes, I need to flow. I need to let everything and anything out, clear my mind just as I gassed by body out after doing all sorts of punches in qulaity and quantity. If I could recommend a couple of things for anyone, it would be a punching bag and a notebook. One needs to let your body flow, one needs to let your mind flow. That’s the word of the moment, is to flow. I need to flow. I need to let things out. I need to sift through all the bulls**t – not that I produce bulls**t, but it’s just that things need to be prioritized over other things right now.

I need to talk about character later. But this is my problem – I’m not so sure that talents have precedence over character. I’m to let my thoughts out on the statement, Character Protects Your Talent – but in all honesty I think that the point here is that we ought to use our talent to protect our character.

In other words, the one thing, the main thing, or rather, the thing that takes precedence here is character. Character comes first before Talent.

I’ve been talking about so many points leading to today, and I think it would be helpful for me to go through them, in the name of flowing:

Belief Lifts Your Talent.
Passion Energizes Your Talent.
Initiative Activates Your Talent.
Focus Directs Your Talent.
Preparation Positions Your Talent.
Practice Sharpens Your Talent.
Perseverance (something) Your Talent.
Courage (something) Your Talent.
Teachability (something) Your Talent.

Okay, fell off the line for three of those items. Let me go back to them. But looking forward, I want to make sure I didn’t miss anything out.

So today I’ll be talking about Character and how it Protects my Talent. Next week I’ll be talking about Relationships, and how this influences my Talent. Finally, for the final Sunday of June, I will be talking about Responsibility and Teamwork.

That’s thirteen points. Good. I didn’t miss out on anything.

Now as we go down the line here, let me type about each of the items in a nutshell just so I can have a clear picture on where I’m headed with this.

Of course, it all starts with the premise before we even talk about Talent, and that is to talk about Foundation, Beliefs, and Being. We build beliefs upon Foundation, and our being is manifested from our beliefs (and I seriously need to think about another word for manifestation, because ugh).

(To talk about Character would be a checkpoint – this is a character checkpoint)

With that said, our beliefs take precedence before our talent. In other words, we would be grasping at air in even identifying our talents if we don’t even take our beliefs into consideration. It is in this way that we understand that belief lifts our talent.

Moving on, we talk about passion. We remember that Christ did not just give us passion, but as He is alive in us, we know that He Himself is our Passion. The same Christ who is our passion is our life, and is our sight – and we can count on Him to give us vision at any moment.

I mention vision because it is necessary for initiative – For if initiative activates our talent, it is vision that activates our initiative. Simply having a vision is infinitely better in getting us out of bed every morning when we wake up, versus not having a vision at all.

In having a vision, of course, we would do well to add upon the vision that we have, but let us not forget that we would save energy and time to focus on the vision that we already have. Vision activates our initiative, but focus clarifies our vision, down to the details.

And as we understand the details of our vision at any given moment, we are able to prepare, and we are able to practice. Having the details of our short-term high-impact visions allows us to prepare with accuracy and efficiency. Understanding the details of our long-term commitments gives us reason and direction to practice…

And practice we must. We practice on days we feel good, but we ought to continue practicing even when we don’t feel like it – for these days, we would do well to persevere. In fact, in the highs and lows, we should always remember that it is not hubris but perseverance that sustains us and our talent.

I mean to take a pause here before anything else because we need to understand that while talent may be the by-word or the repetitive theme, the treasure lying just beneath the surface for us to draw out is the value of vision.

So far, I dare say that vision activates our initiative. It is vision that directs our focus. It is vision that positions our preparation. It is vision that sharpens our practice. It is vision that sustains our perseverance.

And let me clarify. I’m not necessarily a fan of preaching about vision, but I will take it one step further: Vision is certainly not just a list of what we want out of life. Vision is a collective perspective of our past, present, and future… and because we as human beings tend to either overestimate or underestimate ourselves, we are blessed to know that our Creator, and our Savior, who is Christ, is able to see all things from His omniscient perspective, and is lovingly willing to direct us, His vision one with ours, at any given moment.

//”Oh, Pastor, you’re preaching on One-ness, which is dangerous” – probably is, but this is what I have going for me right now, and I couldn’t just drop it.//

Do we see how important it is for us to understand how vision affects us much more than we are initially led to believe? Because if we keep going down this line, we can see how it is vision that brings us to courage when we are faced with tests. And as the Holy Spirit moves in and through us and opens our eyes to just how glorious our vision is, our eyes are also open to other perspectives, and we are rendered teachable.

And while we understand that vision is the one thing that can bring all of this together, friends, let us not forget: It is Christ who gave us sight, and it is Christ who gave us this vision.

Up on the highest floors of the Boys High gym is a massive tarpaulin which reads, ‘Character Makes A Man.’

Sadly, our natural tendency, the one which is prevalent in this reality, is for man to make his character. The difference between these two statements is the vision that one has. For a man who makes his character is extremely myopic – extremely short sighted, compared to the one who understands that Christ gave us sight, and it is Christ who gives us vision.

It is character that makes a man. And there is no better character than Christ.

Christ makes a man.

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