"Live in vision and not in circumstance." -Carson Tinker“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
It’s a saying as old as time, but it has taken on new meaning in my life recently.
At the library, it is one of my many jobs to put out the new materials on a special display. Some simply show the spine of the book, while others have spots that allow the book to face forward so that the entire front cover can be seen. I am supposed to find the prettiest books with the best illustrations and most captivating covers to put facing outwards.
I literally judge books by their cover on a daily basis in my job.
But the thing about most of the books I choose, I have never actually read them. I cannot testify that they have quality writing, fascinating plots or page turning action. I really don’t know much about them at all unless they are written by a popular author or I read the synopsis.
Even then, I don’t know much. And as I have judged the covers of novels over these past four months, I’ve come to the conclusion that I sometimes look at people the exact same way. God has shown me in about twenty things this week how quick I am to pass a fleeting judgment in my mind before I even take time to crack the book or get to know the person.
It’s hard to swallow the same lesson over and over, but I think I’m finally getting it. We don’t see the potential in something or in someone because we are blinded by a million other factors; but I think there are diamonds in the rough all around us and we end up chasing pennies. Do you remember a time when deep down you knew you could do something and someone overlooked your potential? They couldn’t see the possibilities.
Let us ask God for eyes to see the potential in life and in people. Former Alabama long snapper, Carson Tinker writes in his new book that we must “live in vision and not in circumstance.” Are you letting circumstances rob you of seeing the joy, of seeing the good, of seeing the potential? I know I do far too often. But what if we lived in the vision of what could be?
There is some young person at the beginning of their dreams, some older person wondering what their next move is in life; somebody that needs you to mentor them. There are people all around us that need us to realize their potential and see beyond just the cover of the story. I think about those in my life who saw it long before I did and those who didn’t. I think about those who encouraged it and developed it and those who hindered the process. Which category would you fall into with the people in your life?
And even in life itself, chose to see the potential in every situation. Christ put a gift in you before you breathed your first breath. He looked at earth, saw a mission and chose you. He sees the potential because He created it.
I’m reading a book by Francine Rivers and I came across a quote that spoke volumes to me:
“Look at what you’ve gained through the Beckers, Frau Fuchs and Frau Zimmer and the Giligans. You’ve learned to bake, tend bees and children, and you’ve seen what it takes to run a fine hotel. Doesn’t that show you God is preparing you […] you must search out the usefulness in every situation” (Her Mother’s Hope, 21).
What have you gained through your life experiences, your jobs, and the people in your life? What is God preparing you for? What unseen potential lies within you?
Ephesians 1:18—I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which He has called you.