Neha Ramu is the 13-year-old British girl who recently reached the highest possible score on the Mensa IQ test. Intelligence-wise, she’s in the top 1 percent of people who’ve ever lived, even ranking higher than Albert Einstein.
(If I may digress, I can’t help feeling a little sorry for her future husband. How do you argue with someone who’s that smart?)
But the best thing about Neha is not her IQ, it’s her common sense. She demonstrated it when she was compared to Stephen Hawking and the great Albert Einstein. She said, “It’s not right to compare me to them just cause of my IQ. If I don’t put in my effort and make use of my IQ there is no point in having it.”*
With that comment, Neha was striking at the heart of an eternal truth: it’s not what you have, but what you do with what you have that matters.
We all know people who are supremely gifted, but have never accomplished much. We also know people who are marginally gifted, but through grit and determination have done amazing things.
Years ago, I read Tom Landry’s biography. I still remember him saying that if given a choice between supremely gifted athletes with bad attitudes and marginally gifted athletes with great attitudes, he would take the marginally gifted athletes with great attitudes every time…and win more games!
I feel the same way as a pastor.
Give me the marginally gifted church member who is passionate about serving Christ any day over the supremely gifted church member who is lazy and apathetic. With supremely gifted people who are lazy and apathetic, you get occasional flashes of brilliance that are very impressive in the moment. But with marginally gifted people who are passionate about serving Christ, you get a steady glow. And when you’re trying to light the darkness, it’s the steady glow that’s needed.
I’m guessing that you probably couldn’t ace the Mensa IQ test. You may even consider yourself a person of modest talent or intellect. No worries! Just knuckle down and work hard and you will exceed a large percentage of the people who have more smarts and talent than you do.
Just try not to laugh as you pass them by.
For further reflection read 1 Peter 4:10-11 and Romans 12:6-8.
*The Huffington Post, June 7, 2013