For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.We have the blessing of participating in God's work, but it took God as our leader to create the opportunities for the good works we are able to do. It has something to do with our own initiative, but it has every bit as much to do with God knowing our potential and taking the initiative to give us the space to grow.
In every relationship, there are power dynamics involved. Generally, whether for reasons of age, experience, title, or seniority, in most interactions and scenarios there is a person who has more power and a person or people with less power. Whether they realize it or not, those with power are gatekeepers for how everyone else is able to function and to experience the possibility of growth. I want to invite you to think about the areas in your life where you might possess some type of control, and how people are being affected by your use of power.
What about the person with a great talent who is too shy and uncertain to ask for the opportunity to use it? How about the person who won't be noticed because of their ethnicity or economic status, for whom your influence might could open a door? Who do you know that feels bound by past mistakes and would be deeply blessed if someone were to offer them the chance to be thought of as a valuable person, and not just a "guilty" person? What would it take to create enough space for a second chance for them? What difference could a little of your assistance make? Many of us would not be where we are had there not been someone willing to take a chance on us and give us some space to grow. "Come and help me. Let me show you how."
This is equally true of groups. Need stronger relationships among your people? Create and schedule a space where friendships can develop. Wish that people showed more initiative? Ask them and learn from them what you could do to help remove barriers that are deterring them. Want to move in a new direction? Let your people help you to imagine the world you are all wishing to inhabit together.
People who don't feel powerful will seldom succeed in seizing opportunities for themselves, and might not get up the nerve to try. When you think about people who are a few years behind you, with a little less experience than you and fewer connections than you, I wonder in whom you might could invest a little of yourself so that they have the space to become something more? You--yes, even you--might be intimidating to the person who needs you the most, and doesn't know how to ask for your help. We should be grateful that God sought us out to bless us, even before we knew we needed him. Perhaps we can do the same for others.