“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will lives it’s whole life believing it is stupid.” Allegedly Albert Einstein said that. I don’t know where the quote came from, but it’s on the Internet so it must be true, right?
Imagine being the fish in the tree. How well would you thrive? Actually, forget thriving. How could you possibly survive? The atmosphere would be crushingly toxic for you. Your gills need water for you to breathe. Your muscles would begin to contract as you fight to breathe until you finally gasp your last and tumble to the ground. If suffocation didn’t get you, the fall would.
Yet how many of us fish spend our lives trying to climb a tree?
The truth is everybody has a purpose – a God given reason to exist, to live. Every human being is very deliberately and precisely designed by the Creator of all, to fill a particular space and time, interact with specific people, influence and be influenced, help and be helped, love and be loved.
And we have talents to facilitate just those things, to do what God intends each of us to do. When we fight our natural creation and try to be someone we are not – when we leave the pond we were designed to inhabit in order to shimmy up a tree we were never meant to climb – we are not being true to our created selves, or our Creator.
It could be a career choice. Maybe a life choice that held you back or moved you away from where you should be. Maybe these things are really just part of God’s plan to give you wisdom to use in your own life and impart on others.
If you find yourself climbing a tree when you should swimming free beneath the waves, don’t sweat it. Find what God designed you to do, who He means you to be, and prayerfully head back to the river. Let your tree climbing days be over. If others call you stupid for your decision, so be it. People thought Jesus was crazy. (Clearly He was not.). It didn’t deter Him from fulfilling His purpose. He did not let critics turn His head.
Go ahead. Run your race. Follow the passion the Lord has stoked within you. Be strong and courageous. Let go of the tree and head for the river!