I am Susan Boyle
I don’t even have to explain to you who that is because it is likely you already know too well. And I can’t help but ask “why?” She’s just a common middle-aged (not to mention unemployed) Scottish cat lady who sings just okay. What’s the big deal?
Why 40 million+ YouTube views? Why the constant news coverage? Why the all the buzz?
I’m not picking on poor Susan Boyle. In fact, I actually feel badly for her. Five or more years ago–before the age of reality TV, YouTube and the sensationalization of everyday celebrities, no one would have even known she existed. At least not outside of her little village in Scotland.
But today, after 35 years of singing and practicing, she’s an overnight sensation. And all thanks to you and me and these things called reality TV and the internet.
Again, I ask myself, “why?” and I think I’ve figured it out.
There’s something in Susan Boyle that awakens in us as we watch her come out of her shell: and it is our own selves. We’re all Susan Boyle. Who among us does not move through life with the hidden sense that we are destined for more? That given the right opportunity, the right stage, the right audience, we too would shine?
It is the same reason we watch American Idol, The Biggest Loser, Britain’s Got Talent and all of those something-out-of-nothing television shows. We genuinely enjoy watching the underdog succeed because we can see a little bit of ourselves in each one. But at the same time, ever so slightly cynical and judgmental… and jealous.
We live vicariously through Susan Boyle and the like every week. With each new episode. With each new sensation.
I just wonder what would happen if we could bottle up all of our sensationalism and channel it into something more.
To the spreading of the Gospel.
To the giving of our time to missions and giving generously.
To being true to our own spiritual gifting and purpose.
While we’re not all meant to be famous, we all have a God-designed purpose.
A unique gifting and purpose that only YOU can do.
But for many of us, the drive to fulfill that purpose was left on the wayside because of disappointment along the way. Or life threw you a curve and your plans changed in an instant. Or for some of us, we’ve never even begun to seek it.
Whatever it is, to allow yourself to be molded by your own gifts takes courage. You have to be willing to stand there, exposed and authentic, at the risk of the “audience” rolling their eyes at you. And then, of course, you have to fail, laugh or cry, and keep going until, one day, they stop laughing and start clapping.
But being willing to never hear the clapping is where obedience to His call begins.
What can you do tomorrow that will take you one step closer to the dream God placed in your heart a long time ago?
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)