Recently, I read the story about Luciano Pavarotti who apparently went through most of his early life not really good at anything. Yet even so his grandmother would often put him on her lap and say “You’re going to be great, you’ll see!”
He knew he could sing, but became an elementary school teacher and only sung infrequently at special events. His father encouraged him to develop his voice, knowing that he was singing far below his potential. Yet to really do that he needed a job that would give him more flexibility. After much deliberation, he resigned his teaching position and took a job selling insurance, hoping that this would support him “if he couldn’t make it in the music world”.
He got the singing lessons and the rest is history. Much later he was to say “studying voice was the turning point in my life. It’s a mistake to take the safe path in life.” Then he added with a twinkle in his eye “My teacher groomed me. But no teacher ever told me I would become famous, just my grandmother.”
As I work with recruits, trainees and staff, I hear many stories of people leaving well paid, safe jobs to do what they have always wanted to do – join the RAAF! Yes there are risks, some end up in my office because it is harder than they expected – yet I constantly remind them of their hopes and dreams of coming here and the fact that others have faith in them as well. I confront them with the fact that “If you pull the pin now, you may never reach your full potential or know all that God created you to be!”
That might sound overly dramatic but the worthwhile things in life are all hard, and require perseverance, whether it is beginning a career in the RAAF or making a marriage work. It is worth it, have faith in yourself, believe what others close to you have said, and put your trust in God to help you through the rough spots. My role is to remind you that you too have the seeds of greatness in you!
Chaplain Ian Whitley