“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
When we adopted our beloved family dog from the pound several years ago she was already fourteen months old. We didn’t know much about her history at the time except that she is a blue-heeler, a breed of dogs used for herding cattle for which she had been appropriately named Cowgirl. At the time we owned a small cattle ranch on which we had invested in a small herd of Black Angus heifers. Now Cowgirl had only been in our family about three days when we decided to go out and check on our ranch and livestock, and when we arrived the cattle were grazing in a wheat field off in a distance.
Without thinking we let Cowgirl out of the pickup to stretch her legs, but when we did she took off like a bullet toward those cows. We had no idea what was up! But when she saw the cows her instincts kicked in and she knew exactly what to do. She knew, in fact, what she was born to do; for in a matter of minutes she had taken charge of the cows, rounded them up and herded them back to the coral near where we were standing. It was amazing to watch, and not just the action but the look of joy and satisfaction on Cowgirl’s face. She was made to do what she had just done, it was her special talent.
Just like Cowgirl, each of us has something special for which we were uniquely made. Stephen Covey referred to it as our “voice”, others our sweet spot or calling. When we know that about ourselves is when we start to become our best and most effective. It is why coaches like myself start off new clients by helping them identify their unique gifts and talents before we proceed to work on any other specific issues. It’s critical.
We have each been created with a purpose which is manifested in our unique gifts and abilities. When we try to be someone different than who we are uniquely made to be we will inevitably fall short of our highest potential. But when we know – like Cowgirl knew – that’s when we become our most effective, and with that we experience our greatest joy and satisfaction. It’s God’s plan for us and His gift to us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord.