A few weeks ago, I asked my 5-year old Francis to sing on stage. And right after, I asked my 10-year son Bene to preach.
This was before thousands of people at the Feast, our weekly prayer gathering.
It was awesome.
Francis brought the house down with his cute singing.
And Bene blew the audience away with his talk.
Hey, please understand.
I’m the father.
So my report is highly biased.
Because I’m sure my kids made mistakes on stage.
Francis probably sang off-key a couple of times.
He probably sang out of rhythm a few parts of his song.
And Bene probably made grammatical errors.
And mispronounced words.
But all that didn’t matter.
And I didn’t pay too much attention to their mistakes.
Because the whole time they were performing, my heart was bursting within me, saying over and over again, “Those are my kids!”
This doesn’t just happen when they’re performing in front of a crowd of people. I get the same feeling when I watch my kids draw, swim, play, talk…
In other words, I just love it when they’re themselves.
People ask me, “Bo, when Bene grows up, he’ll be a Preacher like you. He’s such a good speaker.”
I answer them, “I don’t know. That’s up to him to decide.”
I’ve always told Bene, “Be who God created you to be. Be yourself. And you’ll succeed.”
God Loves It When You Become You
Friend, God is a father too.
When you use your talent, God’s heart is bursting with pride.
When He sees you performing on stage of life, using the talent that He has given you to bless the world, God is saying, “That’s my kid!”
Why? God loves it when you become you.
He wired you to do something.
He designed you, formed you, shaped you, rigged you, tooled you, and wired you to be a special gift to the world.
If he designed you to be an anthropologist, be an anthropologist.
If he designed you to make deals, then make deals.
If he designed you to listen, then listen.
If he designed you to count money, then count money.
If he designed you to plant crops, then plant crops.
If he designed you to fix cars, then fix cars.
If he designed you to hold the camera, then hold the camera.
I repeat: God loves it when you become you.
Three Landmarks In Your Success Journey
Friend, do you want to be successful in life?
Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight.
Success is a journey.
In fact, you’ll have to pass via three landmarks in this journey. Between where you are now and where your success is are three landmarks. Here they are:
Landmark 1: When you discover your talent
Landmark 2: When you develop your talent
Landmark 3: When you deliver your talent
These three landmarks correspond to the three kinds of people in the world.
There are people who haven’t discovered their talents because they’ve dug a hole in the ground–the hole of low self-worth–and hid their talent there.
They feel useless.
They feel they’re condemned to live a mediocre life.
I should know.
I was once such a person…
1. Discover Your Talent
All of us possess various talents.
Some can dance like Gary V.
Some can make people laugh like Michael V.
Some can act like Ate Vi.
While some can make burgers like Jollivee.
(Sorry, slept late last night.)
But I didn’t believe this years ago.
When I was a kid, I used to complain to God, “Lord, why didn’t you give me any talents?” I felt I was the most talentless person on the planet.
I was afflicted with comparisonities.
When I was in Grade 5, I had a classmate in school who seemed to have all the talents I wanted to have.
His name was Ariel.
He was number one in class.
He was number one in Basketball.
He was number one in Baseball.
He was number one among the girls.
He was number one among the teachers.
I was number one at being nothing.
I was number one at being unpopular.
I was number one at being bullied by the bullies.
I was number one at being the laughing stock of my teachers.
But I had one talent that I thought I was good at. At least I had one. I knew I was good at drawing.
But one day, we had art class. And Ariel drew something that was Walt Disney material. He was number one again.
I complained to God. I said, “Lord, how unfair! Why is he number one in drawing too! That was my only talent.”
But one fateful day, everything changed in my life.
That was the day I discovered my talent.
All You Have To Do Is Say Yes
As a 13-year-old kid, I was attending this small prayer meeting with my parents. And in one of those meetings, our leader announced to everyone, “God spoke to me last night. One of you will preach the Gospel all over the world.”
She then approached me and asked, “Bo, can you give a talk next Friday.”
Imagine me. That skinny, peepsqueeky kid, who read Superman comics and watched Voltes V on TV, to give a talk.
And with my pre-puberty, high-pitched voice, I said “Sure!”
That was the only thing that God was asking from me.
To say “Yes” to His call.
Did I know I could talk?
But I was willing to try.
I could have given in to fear–and said “No”.
If I did, I wouldn’t be here standing in front of you.
Imagine if I didn’t say “Yes”. What would I be doing now?
The thought gives me the shivers.
But on that day, I conquered my fear and said “Yes”.
When I gave my talk, I realized I had the gift of peace.
Because when I spoke, I was more powerful them ‘valium’. Because I made everyone sleep.
I remember this one woman sitting in the front row.
She slept so soundly in my talk, her mouth was wide open. So open, I could count how many of her molars were filled.
I felt humiliated. I was such a poor speaker!
After my talk, I sat down and told myself, “I’ll never give another talk in my entire life.”
Your Availability Is More Important
Than Your Ability
But my prayer group leader, bless her, approached me again and asked me, “Bo, why don’t you give another talk next week?”
And I looked at her with the steely gaze of a hurt, humiliated, 13-year old kid, and said, “Sure!”
I kept saying Yes to God.
And this is what I’ve found out: When you give to God your availability, He will supply you with your ability.
I discovered my gift.
After a few months, I became a better speaker.
And about the woman in front row who slept at my talk?
She kept on sleeping in all my talks.
I realized she was an insomniac. And that the only time she could sleep was when someone was speaking.
Why You Haven’t Discovered Your Talent
A lot of people ask me that question: How will I discover my talent? Kids ask me that question a lot. Teens ask me that question a lot. Amazingly, even adults ask me that question a lot.
Let me be frank with you.
One of the biggest reasons why you haven’t discovered your talent is because you haven’t been saying a lot of Yeses to life. You’ve been habitually saying No.
To opportunities. To learning. To experiences. To stretching.
You’ve been saying No because you’re afraid.
You’re afraid of making mistakes.
You’re afraid of being laughed at by people.
You’re afraid of falling flat on your face.
You’re afraid of being humiliated.
Discovering your talent is like discovering buried treasure.
Treasure hunters don’t dig in one spot and automatically find the treasure. Treasure hunters go through a lot of surveying the area.
They dig in one spot, find nothing, dig in another spot again, find nothing again, dig in another spot again, find nothing again… until they dig in this one spot and find the treasure!
God has called you to serve Him with your talent.
So serve Him and be willing to make mistakes.
Be willing to fail.
Be willing to be a fool for Christ.
All you’ve got to do is say Yes to God!
2. Develop Your Talent
But I didn’t stop in the discovering of my talent.
I developed my talent.
Some people discover their talent, but they don’t develop it.
They’re good mechanics, farmers, speakers, writers, thinkers, listeners, musicians, engineers, mathematicians, administrators–but they don’t develop their talent.
They don’t hone their craft.
They don’t sharpen their saw.
They don’t expand their expertise.
They don’t increase their initiatives.
They don’t grow their gifting.
How did I develop my talent?
I used it.
I said “Yes” to every single invitation given to me to speak.
Tiny prayer groups invited me to speak; I said yes.
Prisons invited me to speak; I said yes.
Hospitals invited me to speak; I said yes.
Poor dilapidated schools in far-flung barrios invited me to speak; I said yes.
I had to cross three rivers before I spoke; I said yes.
Only twenty people showed up; I said yes.
Only ten people showed up; I said yes.
Only three people showed up; I said yes.
In my early years, I would preach every single day.
I didn’t know it, but saying “yes” to every invitation was fulfilling Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour-Rule of Greatness.
Sometimes, young preachers come up to me and tell me, “Brother Bo, I want to preach as good as you do.”
“Great!” I say. So I ask him, “How often do you preach?”
“Oh, about once a month…” he says.
I want to strangle him. “Once a month? By the time you’ll be any good, you’ll be 150 years old. You should be preaching every single day! Create opportunities for you to speak!”
Here’s the truth: The only way to develop your talent is to use it. Let me say it again. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
3. Deliver Your Talent
Some people discovered their talent, developed their talent, but don’t deliver their talent.
For example, I have a friend who knows he’s a good singer.
As a kid, he already was blessed with a fantastic voice.
And he sings in his house everyday to develop his voice.
But here’s the funny thing: Not once has he volunteered to sing in public. Not in parties. Not in church. Not in programs. Not in weddings. One day, I invited him to join the music ministry and he said he had no time.
So far, the only ones who have heard him sing are his shower curtain, his bathroom mirror, and his toilet bowl.
One of the things I’ve found out about this world is that you don’t get rewarded for discovering your talent; you don’t get rewarded for developing your talent; you only get rewarded for delivering your talent.
In other words, do you have the ability to launch?
Planning to launch is not enough.
Preparing to launch is not enough.
You have to actually launch.
There are those who like tinkering with their work endlessly. So they delay. And delay. And delay. And they never launch.
It’s the sickness of corporate world.
Again, the reason why people don’t deliver is fear.
It’s same old enemy.
They’re afraid of failure.
They’re afraid of rejection.
They’re afraid of public humiliation.
So they want everything perfect before they launch.
And there lies the mistake.
There’s no such thing.
They don’t understand that perfection doesn’t exist.
What you need to do is launch and re-launch and keep on re-launching until you get it right.
Here’s what I realized: Before you become a public success, you have to first become a public humiliation!
It’s the only way.
No One Is Exempt
Let me end with one last story.
A lot of people tell me, “Bo, I really have no talent.”
Let me introduce you to a 21-year old man named Jayjay.
Jayjay Ocaya is a 21-year old who sits on a wheelchair the whole day. Jayjay has kidney failure and goes for dialysis twice a week. Jayjay is also deaf.
He was born with a congenital disease called Hydrocephalic Spina Bifida. That meant his spinal column wasn’t fully developed. To survive, he has to go through dialysis twice a week.
Yet every Sunday, Jayjay is part of our Ushers Ministry at the Feast in PICC. What is his talent? He may not be able to hear and he may not be able to walk, but he can smile.
Every Sunday, Jayjay smiles at people and shows them God’s Love.
Let me tell you about another friend.
Her name is Anne Martha Padilla.
She a 26-year old girl with cerebral palsy and has to stay in bed the whole day.
She can’t stand or walk or move the way she wants to. Her muscles move on their own. Her mother has to feed her, bathe her, and carry her around.
She can’t also talk the way you and I do.
If there’s one person that has the right to say, “I have no talent” and “I can’t serve God”, it would be Anne Martha Padilla.
But that’s not true.
Because Anne Martha Padilla gave her Yes to God.
And today, she has a powerful ministry.
She serves hundreds of people in a very personal way.
Anne Martha Padilla is an intercessor and an encourager.
The way she does it is by her cellphone.
She would grab her cellphone with her toes.
And with her other foot, she’d stab at the keypad. Everyday, she’ll send her prayers and inspiration to textmates all over the world.
She prays for her textmates everyday.
She encourages them.
She inspires them.
She’s discovered, developed, and delivered her talent for God’s people. And people are very blessed because of her.
If Jayjay and Anne Martha have found their talent, it’s now your turn.
Give your talent to God.
Just say “Yes” to Him.
May your dreams come true,
PS. Do You Want To Receive God’s Love Letters To You? Get GodWhispers twice a week. They’re very short, sometimes humorous, and always inspiring love letters from God to you. You’ll be blown away. It’s FREE. Log on now at www.GodWhispersClub.com now!