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Leave the tree to the monkey

AS I continue with the series of articles on the role of parents in mentoring children, I would like to share some thoughts by means of four P’s: Purpose, Potential, Passion, and Preparation. This week we shall only deal with Purpose and Potential.
Purpose: It is critical for a parent to realise that we are all born with a purpose which is discovered in the course of our lives.
It is the same with manufactured products: they are designed for a purpose, and their design is determined by the purpose.
The purpose of a bird is to fly, so it has wings; the purpose of a fish is to swim and survive under water, so it has gills and fins.
The purpose of a car is to move on the ground, so it has tyres. A plane has wings because it is meant to fly.
If God created the bird and fish with a purpose and designed them to fulfil their purpose, then He created or “designed” each one of us for a specific, unique purpose.
Albert Einstein famously said, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb trees, it will grow up thinking it is stupid.” Judging your child by abilities not in tandem with the purpose of their life is like expecting them to beat the monkey at tree climbing. Leave the tree to the monkey.
Every child is born to fulfil a particular God-ordained purpose. The role of the parent is to help identify that purpose, which generally (but not solely) manifests through the area of gifting, then help steer the child towards that destiny.
We can only be successful in life if we discover our purpose and fulfil it.
Potential: Purpose determines Potential. Every little bird that hatches has the potential to fly; every little fish is born with potential to swim.
Every car that passes the test at the factory has potential to be driven, and every gun that leaves the manufacturer’s dispatch bay has the potential to kill.
But then the bird must leave the nest, the fish must be in the water, to fulfil their purpose.
The car engine must run, the gun must be fired, for them to fulfil their purpose.
Similarly, children have the potential to become what they were purposed to become.
A caution here: it is possible for a bird to swim in water, but that does not mean it can survive under water! It is possible for a plane to run on the road without taking off if the pilot so chooses, but that does not put it in the same league as a car!
My point is this: being able to do something does not necessarily translate into purpose or potential, which is why there are many of us who played soccer growing up but that did not mean we were meant to become soccer stars.
As a parent, therefore, you must always be wary of the fact that your child could be multi-talented, but that in the case of multi-talented people, there will still be one outstanding talent or gift associated with the purpose. That is where the greatest potential lies.
How are you dealing with your child’s abilities? Are you helping them find their purpose and maximise their potential?
Or are you trying to force to do things outside their purpose and potential, thus frustrating both yourself and them?
Every person has the potential to be successful and to even create wealth – but only if they do it within the area of their life-purpose.
Where there is purpose there is potential. You cannot build life-purpose into your child’s life; you can only help discover what God has already put in place and nurture it.