What does Tom Brady have to do with Enoch? Read on, ‘cuz it’s Tuesday Newsday!
“Tom Brady is not normal,” says columnist Doug Robinson. “You see, by the time you reach your 30th birthday, your decline is well underway. … Strength, speed, quickness, coordination, power, endurance. … None of it endures long” (Deseret News, 2/1/21).
Yet Brady’s played in ten Super Bowls, even at the ages of 37, 39, 40, 41 and (this week) 43.
Brady once summarized what scouts said of him early on: “Poor build, Skinny, Lacks great physical stature and strength, Lacks mobility … [and] a really strong arm, Can’t drive the ball downfield, Does not throw a really tight spiral, … Gets knocked down easily” (Twitter, 3/17).
So if it wasn’t due to natural athleticism, how did he end up with six Super Bowl rings? Because “skills endure longer than speed and strength …, and Brady has honed his skills. … You also can’t discount the immeasurables — his drive, … work ethic, … enthusiasm for the game” (Robinson).
For all these same reasons, it isn’t uncommon for people with less natural ability to excel beyond their gifted counterparts.
So why is it that when I’m confronted with something that stretches me, my first response is that I’m not cut out for it? That because it isn’t my talent and I’m not good at it, I can’t do it?
I find solace in the fact that Enoch felt the same way. When the Lord called him to be a prophet, his shocked reply is, “But why ME?! I’m too young! And I can’t speak in public—I get tongue-tied and flustered. No one’s ever gonna listen to me!” (see Moses 6:31).
The Lord didn’t say, “Oh, you’re right! I need someone more qualified!” Instead, “Just try. I’ll tell you what to say, and I’ll make you enough” (see v. 32). Enoch had faith to take that uncomfortable, unnatural, petrifying leap. Over time, his speaking ability became so powerful that all nations revered him, and the very earth obeyed him (see Moses 7:13).
God prefers to stretch us—uncomfortably so—so we’ll rely on Him instead of our natural abilities. It also inspires hard work and makes our underdog success stories even more glorious.
Not having that natural ability might just be your greatest strength.