I didn’t laugh. I’m sure I didn’t. Still, I must have looked a little incredulously at him, because he repeated the word.
A genius. Really?
The fellow in front of me, a rather normal looking fellow sixty-some years of age had just let me in on a secret he hadn’t told many people. When he was younger, he informed me quietly, his school counselor had administered an IQ test.
His voice got even quieter, almost a whisper, as he nodded sagely. “It was right up there at genius level.”
We didn’t speak about that again in our conversation. I was happy to leave the subject alone. As we talked though, I observed some things that continue to give me pause tonight.
He told me he didn’t read books—in fact, he hates reading. I also noted his lack of grammatical accuracy as we spoke together. It is not something I normally take note of, such inaccuracies being the rule rather than the exception for many people I talk with.
Still, I expected more—of a genius.
Well, you would—wouldn’t you?
The gift (or curse) of genius brings with it the weight of responsibility. It is true of all gifts. Not to say that they must be repaid, but that there is a respect due the gift itself—the respect of using it well and to its fullest capability.
I’m not a genius. I think no one would attempt to foist that improbability off as truth. I have muddled through life with my average intelligence. I’m rather proud of it.
But, even as the words appear on the page, I have a sinking feeling they may come around to trip me (and perhaps you) up. Let’s see if we can still avoid that, shall we?
The genius who refuses to play the part of one—that’s who we’re speaking of here, isn’t it? Perhaps, we can just cast our judgments about him and be done with it.
He’s been given so much, so very much, and yet he goes about his average life, working his average job, doing the same things any of us average folk do. Doesn’t he know he owes the world more?
Oh, I can’t do this!
You knew I couldn’t.
This isn’t about my genius friend who won’t play the part of a genius. It’s about me. It might even be about you.
I hear the words of the Teacher, as he spoke of those who had been given magnificent gifts and understanding of how to use those gifts. To whom much has been given, much will be required. And, those who have received an even greater portion will be asked for that much more. (Luke 12:48)
Somehow, I get the idea He wasn’t talking about financial wealth. I’m not even sure He was speaking of physical abilities.
The extraordinary splendor of knowing and walking with God is a gift of astounding value. The gift of God’s grace is unsurpassed in human history in it’s importance to mankind.
He gives us this gift to hold ourselves. In our bodies made from dirt, which will return to dirt, He stores all of eternity. All of it.
The responsibility that accompanies the giving of this extraordinary, astounding gift is just as extraordinary and astounding as is the gift itself.
And yet, we disregard the gift—disregard it as if it were as ordinary as a Sunday morning. And, in disregarding the gift, we disregard the Giver.
In spite of our disregard, and only because of our Creator’s unfailing mercy, we yet retain the gift. His faithfulness toward us is immeasurable. (Lamentations 3:22)
What an astonishing gift we’ve been given!
Perhaps, it’s time we lived up to it.
Time to toss off this bushel basket.
It’s time for us to shine!
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
(from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt ~ 26th U.S. President ~ 1858-1919)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
(2 Corinthians 4:7 ~ NIV)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2016. All Rights Reserved.