Listening to a music compilation called ‘The Hits’, I was struck by how many times God is mentioned by one of the most revered and controversial artistes of his generation. Prince Rogers Nelson was better known for his androgynous looks, sexy lyrics, amazing musicianship and outstanding songwriting skills. Few people knew of his conversion to Christianity or his mysterious visits to people’s homes as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Even the ultimate party song, 1999, is about the coming of Judgement Day: “The sky was purple, there were people running everywhere, tryin’ to run from the destruction…” Another dance floor favourite from the 1980s, Let’s Go Crazy, begins with a sermon: “Dearly beloved” and talks about “the afterworld, a world of never-ending happiness, you can always see the sun, day or night.” He covered a song, What If? by Christian artiste Nichole Nordeman, which questions those who doubt the existence of God. Finally, he re-recorded, What If God Was One Of Us, with the following chorus:
What if God was one of us?
Just a slave like one of us?
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin’ 2 make His way home”
Maybe it was Prince’s flamboyant image and outrageous lyrics that made it hard for most people to associate him with anything godly, but I believe that there is something deeply spiritual about taking your talent, perfecting it and using it to touch the lives of millions of people. In fact, I believe that this is what we are all meant to do, whether our audience is large or small. How many of us believe in our gifts so strongly that we are prepared to dedicate ourselves to their development, instead of following the school-university-job pipeline that stifles the joy out of so many promising lives with its assurance of security, predictability and anonymity?
At a young age, I knew I had a talent for writing, amongst other things, yet I yearned to be good at sports or music – because they led to instant popularity, especially with the girls. At 16, I discovered photography, a lifelong obsession, but I never had enough conviction to become a professional in the field. Somehow, the ‘pipeline’ was more supportive of ‘proper’ jobs and I never summoned the courage to forge an independent path for more than 12 years. During that time, my career consisted of what were considered ‘good’ jobs, until one day my brother and two friends (who were brothers also) threw me a lifeline – a chance to launch an event management company together. It was a part-time endeavour but it was the start I needed.
I clung to a couple more jobs for the income security until, finally, I jumped. It was scary and exhilarating in equal measure. My faith was tested many times but the freedom of self-determination far outweighed the uncertainty and tough times that followed. Looking back, I should have figured out how to do it sooner. However, those were the days when you needed a lot of capital to start a business – making it quite daunting for would-be entrepreneurs like me. In recent times, technology has been the great equaliser, allowing access to powerful tools and a global marketplace for almost any start-up enterprise.
If you are determined to do more with your life than work for a living, you should nuture your God-given talents and polish them until they shine. Design the life you want and figure out how to create value for others that will more than sustain you – it might even make you wealthy. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll be far happier doing what you love and bringing joy to the lives of others.
So, look deep inside and don’t be afraid of what you may find. It might just be the God within you.
What if you’re wrong
What if there’s more
What if there’s hope
You never dreamed of hoping for
What if you jump?
Just close your eyes
What if the arms that catch you
Catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?
From ‘What if?’ by Nichole Nordeman
Michael D. Williams is the author of number one bestselling book, The More3 Formula, a practical guide for entrepreneurs to create exponential profits through superior customer service. He is an international marketing consultant and senior manager with extensive experience of creating successful marketing campaigns, developing organisations and building partnerships. To book Michael Williams as a speaker or consultant, contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +234 703 335 7123. The More3 Formula is available on Amazon.com