Standing before the amazing statue of David by Michelangelo an enthusiastic admirer asked the artist, "How did you carve such an exquisite work of art?" Michelangelo responded, "First I fixed my attention on the slab of marble. I studied it, sketched a few simple pencil drawings on it, and then chipped away all that wasn't David." The famous artist already saw in the block of rock what existed inside. His task was to uncover the masterpiece inside so that others could see it as well.
This practice is called the art of negation. It is a process where things are taken away that don't belong or that steal energy from what is best. It is a rough process and includes some disappointments and some failures. However, if viewed correctly, these all are just necessary pains to perfect who you really are inside. I'll never forget that Billy Graham failed at being a pastor, but if he had succeeded the scope of his ministry would have never reached worldwide proportions.
What has God been chipping away in your life? What, despite your best intentions, keeps failing to deliver? Then ask, "What do people recognize and compliment me for?" What comes more easily for you that some others struggle over? Those things you may do poorly, or even more bluntly you simply stink up, are probably just the chips of marble that need to hit the floor in a heap to reveal the masterpiece you are inside. As much as some people may believe they are the best thing since sliced bread, they probably are not as good at as many things as they think. People often waste energy and time on things God has better equipped others to do and have too few resources left to accomplish their best. But, when people recognize true value and excellence in things you do, it is God's way of revealing the real masterpiece that He has hidden deep inside of you.
Don't be afraid to try. Don't be afraid to fail. These are necessary experiences for you to discover why God put you on this planet after all. And when you get recognized for things you do well begin to pour your time and energy into perfecting these areas of your life. Quit trying to be everything to everyone. You will never be your best or accomplish all God has specifically for you to do if you are worn out doing what others are better equipped to do. I don't know why, but God wanted me to write this because somebody out there needed to read it. So I've been obedient. Now it's your turn. Catch you later.