(Re-)USE It!

OK – here’s the thing… our brains and bodies get better at the things we do the most… and what we do the least of we ‘lose’ our abilities in.

Example: Take a perfectly ‘normal’, physically healthy child and put them in a wheelchair and don’t let them out of it for years ( not that any of us would DO that – right?) 🙂 and after several years they will lose the ability to walk or even to stand up on their own two feet. Their leg muscles will atrophy, the nerves that activate the muscles may deteriorate and the bones may even become too weak to hold them up.

Basically, for many things in our lives: if we don’t Use it, we Lose it.

Similarly, the more we DO a particular thing the easier it becomes for us, the better we get at doing what we do.

As children we have almost unlimited ‘potential’: we have not yet ‘done’ all that much and the things we are to become ‘good’ at are mostly underdeveloped. Some of the things we could become good at, for any number of reasons, but mostly because of what our parents do ‘to’ us, we might never get much of a chance to develop or experience and any ‘ability’ we may have had a chance to practice gets ‘lost’.

A child has huge Creative potential – their imaginations are allowed almost unfettered range and they have not been ‘conditioned’ enough by external experiences to know what is and is not ‘possible’ (or possible for THEM).

Most parents will have a very large say in each child’s ‘conditioning’ as to what will become ‘possible’ and what will not be possible for them; in ways few may ever fully realise, child or parent, as well as in ways they are very much made aware of also.

Very few adults have the creative ‘potential’ of the average child, because we ‘learn’ some things as we grow up and we don’t continue to use our imagination and our creativity in the same way we once did. We ‘lose’ that particular ‘ability’. (or focus it into a very narrow ‘range’ of one talent).

Some may see this as a good thing – and for a few situations in our socially interactive lives it probably is, but losing our Creative powers, that once held such huge potential, is quite a sad thing to my mind.

One of the things we use more of, because it is quite an essential ‘sense’, is our sense of sight – we can become quite dependent upon it ( try losing it for a few seconds and see how much we rely upon it). The ‘problem with this is: this makes us place too much emphasis on only ‘physical’ things as being in any way important to our life – if we can’t see it ( in some ‘form’) we generally do not pay as much attention to it as we otherwise might.

We humans have lost or are losing our ‘sensibilities’ through underuse, mostly at the expense of our sight. We don’t hear as well as we could, (can you heart your heart beating this second?), we don’t use our taste or our smell as much as we could, (can you smell illness? Dogs can and even our doctors used to a mere century or so ago, being able to identify different diseases by how a person smelled!) we don’t use our intellect as well as we could, ( “I’m not smart enough to know what you have spent your lifetime learning” – like mathematics or playing the piano etc); we don’t LOVE as well as we could….

If you don’t USE it… you Lose it.. Bit… by Bit… by Bit.

I don’t believe that was what He designed us to do – do you?

When and how do we practice the powers He provided for us?

The power to Create something. The power to enhance our own life and the lives of others for good and not just for ‘self’.  (to learn and use our true talents) Use our powers of Love for the benefit of others and therefore to benefit us (and Him) also?

The power to imagine and then work for our Dreams and to show others that the same is possible for any one of us?

If we don’t use and develop such powers we WILL lose them ( more?)


  1. This is a very true observation. It pertains to an anomaly I have yet to understand about potential in general. They say that of all the physical ability each human has, on average we only utilize 3% of it. Same with mental ability. (And I find it interesting that there are studies which say that 3% of all humanity are the true movers and shakers.) Even in the natural world, there is tons of potential, yet much of it goes unused. It is a human response to this to look at it and say, “That’s bad – it should all be used” but is this true? I don’t know that it is, because the paradigm is there in virtually everything. That some things are utilized and many others aren’t. (By the way, I’m not arguing your post … in case it sounds like it … I’m just bringing up a side thought that it sparked.) So … my only question is in God. Because He is the source of all that is … is this true of Him? Does He utilize ALL of what He is capable of? … And as I’m typing this I’m thinking … no He doesn’t. If He were, He would end up destroying the delicate things He’s made. So He shows restraint. He uses what is necessary. Because that is wisdom. Hmmmm….. That’s a great thought. So how do we explain waste? I am a highly economical girl. I like efficiency, and don’t like things to be wasted. Even … the last bits of sauce in the pan, or the very last bit of shampoo in the bottle. But there is always some amount (no matter how small) that must be wasted. Because the energy to extract everything would be so difficult as to be impossible. So how do you explain waste? Waste in resources, waste in physical ability, waste in mental ability? (and I mean waste as in legitimate waste, not as in careless waste) I don’t know how to reconcile that to God. Because again, He is the source of all things. So His Truth lies at the back of these questions. Hmmmmm…..

    I kinda rambled. But what’s funny is that I’m sure you kept reading and pondering too! We’re a funny lot. Most people don’t do this.


  2. Annie – I’m feeling like you DO know me! 🙂

    You raise another area of thought – or the same area but another perspective of it – i was not considering (before).

    That of Efficiency.

    How much do we or should we use of our ability?

    At first that might seem like a dumb question and many would say we always or should always ‘give’ 100%

    2 things there. 1. there is no such thing as a 100% efficient machine – even a simple lever loses efficiency. If this was not the case man could have invented perpetual motion and we would have ‘free energy’ from a source that never runs out.
    2. Watching Tennis matches i have heard it mentioned that to win a tournament you don’t need to play your best every match, you only have to play better than your current opponent. So a Roger Federer or Serena Wiliams does not have to play at their best to win every game; if they play one of us for example they would not hit their best winners every time but would play as if they were in a training warm up -and would still win ( i am assuming like me you never made any final of a junior tennis world championships in your tennis career?) 😉

    Still even if we cant or don’t have to be always 100% efficient ( true to our initial potential) is 3% a ‘reasonable effort’ on the majority’s part??

    Is 10%? 30%? 50 %? How much could any of us actually DO ‘better’? How much of an effort would it actually take to double our ‘efficiency’?

    What would the world be like if we all doubled it from 3 to 6 %?

    What if there was a fairly simple way for us to ‘free ourselves’ from all the stress, worry, deceit, ignorance and general BS we have put up with in our lives and could then become 60% efficient, perhaps as much as 20 times what we have at present???

    That’s something worth thinking a little more about i reckon.

    On another point you raised… i am very sure God has built a lot of ‘waste’ into the system. If every seed produced by every plant grew into maturity we would need the entire galaxy of stars and planets to provide enough land area to support it and where the water would come from to service that life i cannot guess. Still i am quite sure God makes EVERYTHING to serve a purpose and nothing ever ‘goes to waste completely but is used in ‘other’ ways than we might see.

    I don’t see Him being pleased with a family of kids that lets the gifts he gave them, that hold SUCH great promise (we believe we are made in HIS image, male and female, right?) gradually being forgotten and let go to disappear into unusefulness for us – and for Him.

    Would you be happy to see the kid you raised and gave every opportunity use only 3% of it, slacking off and on the whole being miserable as a result?


  3. Great thoughts, Blove! See … I think it’s a human ambition to strive for ‘more, more, more’ … perhaps not a God ambition? I need to know what his is before I can accurately assess our 3% or 6% or 60% … see what I mean? We think that 3% is pitiful, and that the 97% is wasted … but is it? I want to know how He sees it. And as you say, even if something is not used for the purpose it could be used for, it is still used. Which, by the way, I loved that thought. The seeds and the trees. So true! Could we ascertain somehow, through extraction, how many seeds (potentially) could be produced from the mature mother plants (we’re talking a single species or all species en total), and how many of those seeds actually produced a new plant? Would I be surprised if the number were somewhere around … 3%? Hmmm. I wouldn’t be surprised. God does all things neatly and in order. I just want to probe this, and see if I can delve the mind of God to understand how He sees things.

    To answer your end question – I wouldn’t. However, what would I wish my child to achieve? I would wish them to find and follow their course. Not just to ‘do’ or ‘be’ without aim or purpose, but to have a purpose worthy of fulfillment. Worthy of focusing their attention and abilities on to produce a noteworthy change in that field. And here … I find we’re going back again to Dale’s thoughts about the difference between human and divine (well, compassion on his blog, but I think it applies to more than that even). (Did you read Dale’s post? It’s here: http://practicalbibleteaching.wordpress.com/2009/02/03/compassion-the-sequel/) Human endeavor says “all.” Divine endeavor says, “What I have chosen.” Or something like that anyway. It is, at any rate, not all … for reasons perhaps beyond our comprehension at the current time. I would not desire my kids to pursue everything they could possibly pursue. I would desire them to pursue that which God would have them pursue. That will produce the most meaning in every area for their lives, and enrich them the most.

    Great question, then! So I think this boils down to purpose. In a sense. God has a purpose for every seed. We would say that the purpose for every seed is germination … but in God’s mind it’s not. Because otherwise … every seed would be germinated. But they’re not. Therefore God thinks differently than we do. Only some of the seeds have the purpose of being germinated and producing a tree. The others (while looking identical) have a different purpose. Perhaps of being food, or perhaps of being fertilizer … but they do have a purpose. It is just not what you would instinctively pick out when looking at the seed.

    Blove, I like that I can ramble my thoughts, and you’ll get all this. It’s kinda fun. 🙂 And this is REALLY insightful for me, because it is beginning to answer this huge question that I’ve had. 🙂 ‘Night!


  4. Wow! I ‘planted’ one seed and you grew a whole different plant from it that leads to another seed and so on… 🙂

    As for what God thinks about the 3%, 6 % etc. i think Jesus parable of the ten talents covers part of that as does not diding your light under a bushel (of fears and ignorance of the Truth and of doubt) be the light fo rthe world i believe He says.

    That is to tie in with Dale’s thoughts, that i concur with completely, about not doing what the ‘fleshy’ Human will wants only, but to follow the Spirit within you (as a child can) to be all you can be in THAT regard ( less of me more of Thee – Thy Will be done)

    “Human endeavor says “all.” Divine endeavor says, “What I have chosen.” Or something like that anyway. It is, at any rate, not all …”

    Humans are very limited in their imaginings and have to keep it very simple – all or nothing( that THEY can conceive of) whereas God has no such limit and is able to see ALL POSSIBLE outcomes while at the same time focussing on a specific individual example of His Purpose for us to easily ‘follow’. I think He wants each of us (or perhaps only the lucky few who hear the Spirit caling in this lifetime) to be as Him and DO ‘what I have Chosen’ ( for our own Spirit that is United in One in Him) Rather than trying to do ‘all’ for ‘everyone’ else. To Maximise our individual potential in the Spirit for ourselves primarily, but so that this can be used as encouragement by others to follow to do as we did ( maximise their own Spirit’s potential)

    Is this making sense? i’m never really sure how others pick up on what i have said compared to what i meant?

    As for the example of the healed man in John: The Bible often makes reference to our individual Faith being what heals us (an inflow of His Spirit and our understanding of it/acceptance of it/living IN it).

    The man Jesus Healed may have been the only one present who AT THAT TIME had the right level of Faith for the ‘Miiracle of Healing’ to be allowed to take place then.

    I think this ties in with God’s Plan as demonstrated by seeds. To us all seeds look exactly the same and they land on pretty much the same ground mostly yet out of a hundred thousand only one or two might germinate and reach maturity as a new plant/tree.

    Only those whose conditions AT THE TIME ( and place) were deemed ‘right’ by God – not by us.

    Note though that we could take those 100,000 seeds and produce a far higher ‘success’ rate than if we left them to nature.

    We could do this whehter we were doing it of the Spirit’s Will or of our own but if we were being led by the (living in) Spirit we would be able to see the full repercussions of our actions while if we do it of our own will we would most likely not see the greater good/damage we might be doing in doing so.

    Ideally we would ‘all’ understand through the Spirit our true potential and begin to Live it and work towards freeing it as He would desire – as any GOOD parent desires for their Children.

    As the seeds show ( even Human seed where women are far more conservative of waste( UNwasteful) than us men but who have the potential to produce one Child a month for twenty to thirty years – in terms of eggs produced!) however not ‘all’ of us can (or should ??) do it.

    There are probably far more of us who could than who ever do. Mostly i feel, because they never get the ‘right’ start in life – the understanding of our own Spirit in order that it be allowed to Bloom into what He wants so that ‘we’ can LIVE fully in it.

    ( As i believe the man Jesus Did thus bringing God and man into One being).


  5. Love the point about the human potential with eggs and sperm (although sperm you didn’t mention – there are several billion more sperm ‘wasted’ than fertilized). Much of this is still a mystery to me … but I have had a *bit* of illumination. 🙂 Thanks!


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