Friday, February 27, 2009

The "Stuff" of Life

I had breakfast this morning with a friend. Our discussion reminded me of something I learned before I started in this role, thanks to one of my sisters. She pointed me towards the parable of the bags of gold from Matthew 25 (and Luke 19) where the master gave out 5, 2 and 1 bags of gold to three of his servants. Ever since I read this as a kid I viewed it as this lump sum of “stuff” we get as a human being to do life with, and when it’s all said and done and we have to give an accounting of our life, then God comes and determines your future state in heaven.

She pointed out to me that, no, it really means that what God has entrusted to me today, he expects me to use it well, and if I do, He comes along side of me and says “Well done, let’s go again!” There is also an implied partnership that should not be lost in these verses, but that’s a thought for another day.

So after she said this, my whole life flashed before my eyes where I saw myself in all of the various roles and jobs that I had experienced. I thought about my personal growth and the things I had learned through the good times and the not so good times, the increase in responsibilities that I had been entrusted with from job to job and also from role to role within the church setting. This was so cool because I saw all the points (I see charts and graphs in my head often!) where God had come alone side of me and said “Well done, let’s go again!”

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. While I had been trustworthy with what God had given me, I was in no way intentional about how I invested my “stuff”. My progress was completely done out of an intuitive mind set to seek out that which is greater than the last. It was the first time in my life where I sat down and had a good look at my “stuff” that God had given to me and ask the question, could I get a greater return that what I was currently getting? (This also implies an increase in risk! Right, another topic for another day).

Since this time I’ve come to land on three things that must happen in order to be highly intentional in my investments of the “stuff” God has entrusted to me.

1. I must know that which He has given to me. For me it’s leadership, administration and discernment. If you don’t know your “stuff” then get on with the search.

2. I must have a usage plan for each one of the gifts I’ve been given. We all have a number of roles we live and breathe within. A mom, a dad, husband, wife, volunteer roles, work related roles. If you think about it, you have huge opportunities all around you to exercise your gifts and be intentional about using them. When you get intentional, you’ll find yourself having out of body experiences where you are watching yourself doing things that blow you away. Often we are looking for that perfect “role” to make us happy and feel fulfilled, but in reality, using your gifts in the “now” will be instant satisfaction.

3. I must have a growth plan. Part of growth comes when God comes along side of you and say’s let’s go again and He throws you into something that is big and scary. You’ll always grow this way. But a large part of the growth comes from being in the moment, using your gifts and seeing the things you could do well and the things you could do better. It comes from reading and studying about your giftedness. It comes from observing others with similar gifts. It comes from trial and error. It comes from evaluating failure and success. I’ve discovered that the greatest growth spurts come from walking through a tough time. Every tough time presents itself with two opportunities for growth. One happened in the middle of the tough time where if you are aware, you get to test-drive your gift in new ways. Second opportunity comes after the tough time is over and you can take some reflective time thinking about what just happened and what you learned about yourself.

Be intentional with what God had entrusted to you here today. Enjoy it! If you are, then it will open up the path for God to give you even bigger things down the road. Don’t concern yourself with what’s next. It’ll be bigger than you can possibly imagine.


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1 comment:

  1. What an awesome Post!!! Thanks for that.

    BTW you drank 10 cups of coffee today. Too Funny



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