I was a skinny kid, but I was a good athlete. Picture that: big Afro, winning smile and some Converse high-tops. From the time I was about ten until I was about fourteen, I ruled. There were two other guys I competed with, and we were the best. But then, once we hit fourteen, they started to pull away from me. They started to excel beyond me. Suddenly I wasn’t one of the top three athletes in the school anymore. That really messed me up. I lost the thing that defined me. But what I discovered is that I was letting other people define me. I was using the abilities I had, and doing things I liked, but it turns out I only liked them if I was the best. If I wasn’t coming in first, I felt like a nobody.
It took me years to shake off these feelings that if I wasn’t first, I wasn’t anything at all. And even longer to stop looking outside myself for satisfaction, the standards of judgment, for the goals I wanted to achieve. Ultimately, I learned that the things I needed to know, the goals that I needed to achieve, were inside of me.
Everyone comes to life with a promise. You can think of it as a promise from God, as I do, or you can think of it as a promise wrapped up inside of you…a promise you’ve been given or a promise you have. The dictionary defines promise as “a statement of what you will or will not do” or “a basis of expectation.” Both of them are true about us. The promise we have is our basis for expecting our lives to be great and we must make a statement that we will make the promise come to pass.
What’s your promise? What’s your basis of expectation? Think about the two aspects of the promise…what you have been given, but also what you have already within you.