“MAHHH—AHM!!! My shovel won’t work!” I turn to see my daughter’s red face scrunched in a pout, as she struggles to wedge the tool, between some clods of dirt. The shovel albeit was a good foot and a half taller than she is. She had the right idea, but it surely wasn’t anywhere close to getting my plant in the ground. We had about ten plants (thanks to a generous friend) that had to get into soil that day or they would wither in the sun, wasting my beautiful gift! Now before you decide I insisted on child labor, this is not the case and anyone with a 3-year-old knows the true meaning of the old hymn, You are Never Alone.” This day was no different in that I had both kids, alternately riding tricycles, caring for sick doll babies, and helping mom.
Her exclamation got me to thinking how we have the right tools; God gave them to each of us. We each have a gift that “outweighs” the other blessings we have. And by that I mean, I may be able to sing, but that’s not my true calling. I may be able to dance, but I’m not going to audition for any shows anytime soon. Each of these tools are to be used for God’s glory. But there’s always one…the one that you dream of doing any chance you get or the one that you hope to do for a living or after you retire. If you turn that into what gives God praise, don’t ya know you’re set? You can throw away all those “Get the Happy Life You Want Now” books and really start living!
Step 1 of Sara’s Self-Help Blog Edition: We have to know our goal. Proverbs 16:3 says we are to “commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Huh? Is it really that simple? I believe it is. Commit that area to Him by asking Him to take control of your schedule. Ultimately, it is His schedule, after all, and His ideas are way better than ours.
Secondly, let’s figure out the gift or tool in our lives…what we’re really good at and what we’d cry about if we didn’t get to do it anymore. This can be anything from cooking to reading to writing to crocheting to walking dogs.
Then we follow the wise words of another Proverb (4:25) that tells us to “keep our eyes fixed straight ahead. Don’t look to the left and don’t look to the right.” (The Bible makes this sound so easy, eh? I type this with a hungry 3-year-old and an almost 2-year-old rubbing his eyes, tapping my arm, and trying out different variations and intonations of the word, “mom.”) We have to do our best to stay focused not only on the task at hand, but also on God’s big picture. God says in Isaiah 43:19 that He’s doing a new thing. I thank God for new things! There are so many days I wake up feeling like I need a change. Our God is in the business of changing things for the better. Each time we feel like we’ve forgotten how to use the gift God gave to us or why, we simply look to Him for help. We pray and ask for just what Isaiah 43:19 promises, a new thing. I’m not going to pretend I know what that would be in your case, especially if your gift is dog-walking, God bless you. He’s the One with the answers, we don’t have to have ‘em all. Sometimes God doesn’t want to hear what we know, He wants to hear that we know that He knows.
Finally, go for it! Make it yours by doing what you love, what He’s gifted you to do, and listen to Him for inspiration! Stay focused and enjoy this life that God blessed you with. There are many who didn’t get the chance to live out their gift like they wanted to, so don’t waste yours!