Around his family, those that knew him best, Jamal didn't feel like he was enough. They talked about football, cooking ribs and who just got back together with who. He didn't have an interest in sports or cooking, and he just didn't have a memory to keep even his 12 cousins names' straight.
He just felt like a low quality human when he was around them. At last Saturday's bar-b-cue he built up the self-confidence to approach his cool uncle and compliment him on his great shirt. But when his little nephew pulled on his uncle's pant leg asking where Aunt Rosie was, Jamal was quick to point at her. But when his uncle saw him he corrected Jamal, "That's aint Rosie, Jamal. That's Aunt Rosie over there. That busy shirt of yours is jumbling your brain, buddy!" Jamal condemned himself for trying.
Because his strengths were so high in one area, other areas were a little bit starved.
But by age 18 the same Aunt Rosie recognized one of Jamal's niche strengths, partly because she was different in some of the same ways. She introduced him to a textile designer she had worked with, and his talents immediate found their fit. He was not the front of house salesman, but he worked relentlessly with factories and designers to develop textile patterns. And over the years many of his designs became the latest bedroom pillow designs, and trickled down to living room upholstery, and eventually had found their way throughout people's homes by being in the popular patio furniture weaves.
God has unique purposes for each person. And when you feel deficient in an area, it is often because you will excel in another. Even if you don't find it fully in this life, in the next you will find your niche perfectly. We can trust that our full potential, and the appreciation for it, will likely not be found until we have caught up to it in heaven. So please try not to compare yourself to others in this mixed up world.