It All Depends On Your Standards

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Matt. 25:23

I stopped to catch my breath during my run Saturday morning. As I paused, my eyes were captured by the way light and shadow danced off the varied shapes of leaves in the woods along the road, then by a group of squirrels that ran by playing chase across the top of the fence. Their antics caused me to laugh out loud while my ears enjoyed the melodies of multiple songbirds. In that moment, I basked in the beauty around me and marveled at the creativity of the Father.

Diversity in Nature

There is such diversity in nature, even just in our neighborhood- from the buck crossing the road, the rabbit that nibbles our grass in the early morning, the tiny hummingbirds that zoom across the yard, to the assorted birds- titmouse, chickadee, cardinal, and woodpeckers- that eat at our feeders all day. Yet, of all the diversity in the animal kingdom, only we humans hesitate to use our talents and gifts out of fear of comparison. We doubt that we are enough.

Does the squirrel doubt it's worth because it's a stay in the woods small creature that simply gathers nuts? Does a sparrow hide it's song because it doesn't sing with the range of a mocking bird? Does the worm refuse to crawl from its hole because it lacks beauty? No, they have no fear. The squirrels play and gather with abandon. Each bird sings their unique song with joy. Why? Because they don't hear the words of the enemy whispering doubt and insecurity. Their hearts are tuned to only the Creator.

Gifts from a Father
Each of us has been given gifts, talents and skills of various kinds. The world may value some abilities more than others, but God doesn't. Yours may not be the ones you desire or perhaps you weren't given as much of one as someone else. It's not our choice what gifts the Father bestows on His children; it's only His. Each is given to us specifically and is intended to be used--to help others for the good of the kingdom. Even if we don't understand their value, God wants us to use them in obedience- without excuse and without comparison. 

God first called me to write a pre-teen Bible study. My initial yes was immediately replaced with doubt and hesitation. Questions of, "Who am I to write about God's word?", "For what purpose would I be called to write?", "Who would ever want to read it?", "What will I do with it?", ran through my mind as I resisted. But I would pray and yield--somewhat. I wrote most of it and shared it as I wrote, with my then pre-teen daughter. I began to believe that our talks together were the purpose for writing it.

But over time He continued to call me, like someone pulling on your shirt tail- a gentle but persistent call to write more.  But I didn't know what to write, how to go about writing or why or....and then a funny thing happened. After years of pretending not to hear, I finally yielded fully and embraced His call. I came to realize that it's not my place, nor is it necessary for me, to understand the plan or purpose. My job is simply to write in obedience, as well as I can, and to make it available to be read. God's job is results. He will lead those who He wants to my words. I'll write until I feel led to stop. Is my calling to write for millions or only a handful? Only God knows. I have no expectations. My purpose may have been fulfilled simply in your reading these words today. Perhaps they were the words you needed to read to do something that will truly make a difference. 

Embrace Your Diversity

God could have simply created one type of every needed species, but He didn't. He had a greater purpose. He created you with a greater purpose, too. It's one only you can fill. Only you have your unique view of life and combinations of experience and talents. Someone else can do the job, but never the exact same way as you. Embrace your diversity.  If you sing, sing out loud. If you crunch numbers, do so with joy. If you write, write with abandon. If you love on people, love unrestrained. If you build buildings, do it with passion. Whatever you do, consider it a work of God.  Don't worry about other people, just do your best with what God has given you.

Message for the Journey:

Don't be afraid to use the abilities you have. They are there for a reason. And when you do, should you find yourself tempted to compare your performance, check to see which standard you're using. It's the world that asks, "What results have you achieved?" but God asks, "Were you obedient to my ways?". Don't listen to the enemy. Tune your heart to hear only the words of the Creator. 

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
Galatians 6:4-5 Msg.

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  1. This is the very thing I like is when a person can stop and smell the roses..To take a moment and appreciate life...I use to be the opposite of this until something very seriously happen to me in life and caused me to learn to appreciate like and so now I smell the roses and I have to say I LOVE IT

  2. Life is precious and we have no idea how much of it we have left at any give time. Let's use it and appreciate it well.