Where do you find the Jeremy Lin’s?

There are a number of Jeremy Lin’s and you could be another.

If you are a NBA fan and follow basketball, on radio, in the newspapers and TV sports, they keep talking about Jeremy.  Why didn’t the Golden State Warriors see the potential in him?  Why did they cut him from the squad?  Joe Lacob, one of the Warriors owners, his son played ball with Jeremy in Palo Alto.  He was aware how well Jeremy had done at Harvard.  He knew he was a very smart individual.  But Lin would have made $800,000 and was released to make room on the Warriors’ salary cap.

There are others just like Jeremy Lin having tremendous potential and yet they often get lost in life.  Having worked in nine Montgomery Ward stores and spending 23 of those years as a store manager I have worked with thousands of employees.  Once in a while you find these kinds of people in different organizations.  They often are individuals with innate leadership abilities that just don’t always seem to show.  In fact, they may not realize their own potential.

We hired a thirty year old young lady to work in our shipping-receiving department. She was a little shy and had a somewhat shaky self-image. In spite of this, she was hard working. It was her willingness to chip in wherever needed that caught my attention. I invited her to our weekly sales training meeting. The ball was in her court.  Attending the meeting meant that some of her work would pile up while she was absent, making her job harder. She was not ordered to attend, but by doing so she showed initiative.

She accepted the challenge and began attending the meetings. As she learned, her enthusiasm grew. Then a suppressed personality began to emerge. Instead of being quiet and reserved, she became increasingly outgoing and self-confident. I made her a full-time salesperson and she excelled in the job. Her industriousness had not lessened and now she had become gracious and helpful with customers.

I then asked her to take a commission-selling job, which meant the end of a regular guaranteed paycheck and only minimum pay guaranteed plus commissions. Her initial response was panic! Pushing people too hard or too fast is always risky. Self-confidence can be as fragile as a desert flower—swift to blossom and quick to die. She and her family were in no position to take a financial risk. One week without a normal paycheck could result in a financial catastrophe. As it turned out, the teaching-nurturing training she had gone through was adequate for her to take this next step in her career. She accepted the job. Eighteen months later she was my top commission salesperson. Later she became manager of our furniture department. After I transferred out of that branch, I heard she was managing a large furniture store in Alaska and doing extremely well.

I grew up an only child with little encouragement.  It is possible others didn’t see a lot of potential in me either.  It wasn’t until I began reading and studying the Bible and believing in the promises God was making that my life totally changed. (Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”) Scripture can be the most encouraging information you will ever read.  It was like the Holy Spirit had planned my life and I was following His leading. Positive things just started happening and my confidence grew.  I kept getting promoted and God became more and more important in my life.  I realized that the more I helped others the more they helped me.

Are you one of those individuals with leadership abilities but for some reason have avoided taking risks?  One of the first things I want to find out when arriving in Heaven is to know what my potential was and what could I have accomplished if I had applied myself more.  I did learn that it takes determination, tremendous preparation and hard work to obtain goals.  I also know that most people are unwilling to spend the time or effort to prepare and prefer not having any extraordinary aspirations.  There is little chance of becoming successful in your chosen field if you are not enthusiastic and put forth the effort necessary to become special in what you do.  The first place to start is reading the Bible to understand that the Holy Spirit wants to be your partner and guide you in the direction toward success.

How many Jeremy Lin’s are among us who are extremely capable only needing encouragement and to be discovered?  Parents, you may have a child and with your assistance can make a difference that could become a standout in a career, not necessarily in sports.  Forbes Magazine says there are 1,226 billionaires on the planet.  Think of the potential our young people have today.  Be the one that inspires and puts a spark in the life of others.  That is what Christians are told to do along with spreading the gospel and helping change lives.  Be a fan and find someone to reassure and root for! Maybe that someone could even be you, who knows?

I Corinthians 2:9 – 12 – “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”

Ephesians 3:19 – 20 – “and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”

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