Jan 16, 2020

Way Below His Potential

Years ago, I volunteered as site supervisor and consultant for Rebuilding Together Twin Cities. They were partnering with the Honeywell Corporation to do repairs on a house in Minneapolis for a homeowner who was physically unable to do the work himself.

This event was highly supported by the local media who sent field reporters to broadcast live on the local Twin Cities news stations.

To add to the grand effort, Genevieve Gorder was hired to be the spokesperson to the media on behalf of Rebuilding together.
NOTE: Genevieve is an American television host and interior designer. She was one of the original designers of the TLC's hit series Trading Spaces.

A speech was given, safety was explained, donuts were eaten, and all hit the floor to accomplish the tasks before them.

Genevieve and the local Muckety-Mucks from Honeywell Corporation spent most of their time suited up as they took photos with media and all who recognized Genevieve.

The Honeywell executives took the opportunity to stand in the limelight in order to draw attention to their partnership with Rebuilding Together nationally.

My assignment was to look for issues of safety, quality of work, answer technical questions, and keep an eye on what was taking place at the whole jobsite. I decided to take a walk away from the celebrities and meet with the volunteers who were physically doing the work.

As I walked into the backyard, I noticed two men who were up to their elbows in engine parts and other junk piled in a corner of the yard; all of which needed to be tossed into a dumpster.

I asked them if they needed anything and encouraged them to get something to eat or drink.

The two men were covered in sweat and grease and turned down my request for them to take a break. I admired their work ethic.

When I made my way back to the front of the house, the media frenzy drove me to go back into the house away from the limelight.

Inside, the local representative from Honeywell who was my contact person asked me if I had met the bigshots from Honeywell. I said that I saw the men dressed in suits posing with Genevieve, neighbors, and the media.

She informed me that they were the local bigshots; she was referring to the BIGSHOTS from Honeywell National Corporation: The Senior VP’s who flew to Minnesota to join the local workers from Honeywell at the jobsite.

It turns out that they were the two men in the backyard.

These men were working way below their potential so I went to the back to meet them. The men told me that they wanted to remain doing the work that no one wanted to do; away from the media frenzy. And that they wanted no credit for what they were doing. They wanted to remain anonymous.

As a corporation, Honeywell had encouraged employees around the USA to volunteer. These two men had issued the orders on behalf of the BOD of Honeywell, yet had not personally done any physical work.

So, they came to Minnesota to work incognito where no one would recognize them and where they could do work and get no credit. They CHOSE to give of themselves and take no credit. They CHOSE to take on tasks that no one wanted to do.

They knew that they needed to lead by serving way below their potential instead of flaunting their status in the Honeywell Corporation for all to see.

These men reminded me of the words written by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Philippi:
 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:1-4)

These men reminded me of the One who really lived here on earth way below His potential. His name is Jesus Christ.

He CHOSE to give of Himself for the sins of humans by submitting to the laws and the wages of death.

He CHOSE to submit Himself to torture, beating, and hung naked as He was nailed to a cross to die a cruel and slow death.

He CHOSE to serve way below His potential in order to express the love of the Father who longed for sinful man to turn form their sins and turn to His love and forgiveness.
And because of what He did, the Apostle Paul continues in his letter to the church in Philippi:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

The world could use more who CHOSE to live way below their potential.

Rebuilding Together Twin Cities has been preserving and revitalizing homes and communities in the metropolitan area since 1997. Our programs provide opportunities for community involvement. Through sponsors and volunteer efforts, we strive to impact communities and the nonprofit places where neighborhood members gather. http://rebuildingtogether-twincities.org/

All Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.