I’ve held many blessed jobs where I got to learn people. I worked with school age children in my early 20’s; was a youth pastor for a while; a Chaplain where I got to teach and counsel high school cadets, and have done a lot of people watching in airports, parks and malls. And after all the interaction with people of a variety of ages, and learning and listening to others stories – I’m a firm believer in this statement I recently heard from Pastor Paul Scanlon (England) “The question is not ARE you intelligent, the question is HOW are you intelligent? How does it display itself?”
The school system has moulded learning to be a “sit, listen and learn” atmosphere, when many people are uniquely designed to learn by interaction, movement and talking.
This week I heard the story of Gillian Lynne – a famous choreographer of CATS, Phantom of the Opera, who has danced in Swan Lake and numerous other ballets in London and throughout the world. She is known for her creativity in movement and style. (Too many performances to list here, but visit here and you’ll be fascinated!) But how her story began is most fascinating.
Born in Kent, England, Gillian was 8 years old when her mother and teachers noticed she was not doing very well in school. Low grades. A troublemaker by many standards. Her teachers, and mother, were concerned that she might need a special school.
Gillian’s mother took her to a psychologist and after answering some questions, they turned the radio on, and left the room. As they watched through the window as Gillian began to dance to the music, the doctor looked at Gillian’s mother and said “Your daughter isn’t retarded; she doesn’t need a special school. Gillian is a dancer. You need to enrol her in a dance school immediately.” And so her mother did. And THAT is where she flourished and has since gone on to impact millions and make millions because she was in the very setting where God created her gifting to flourish.
I’m not yet a mother, but I so look forward to the day when I can love and care for my children and allow their individual gift to be discovered.
Sometimes it can be easy to get frustrated – and that’s a good time to sit down and look at your life (or the one causing the frustration) and analyze where the real you, or them, is not being allowed to flourish. In each of us a gift waiting to be discovered.
As someone once said, light shines better through cracked pots. So don’t feel discouraged if you’re a little cracked. See it as an opportunity and find your unique spot to flourish in the sun.