Saturday, January 31, 2009

Little Big Deal!

When I was in the seventh grade, I was invited to join my friend Melanie and her family for a weekend trip to Charleston. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a spur of the moment trip and we stayed in a little roadside motel in a room that adjoined her parent's room--and it was not the Hilton. In fact, it was not even the Holiday Inn. It was fine though, and I could have cared less what type of accommodations were involved because I was just glad to be along for the fun.

What I do recall about the trip however, is that after having dinner at a very nice restaurant on the water, we perused the aisles of the adjacent gift shop and purchased a package of incense.

Before that night, I'd never even heard of incense, but according to Melanie we needed to burn some to get the musty smell out of our motel room. To this day I can remember that odor. It is indelibly etched in my mind like the rice carving on my four poster bed. Just the mention of incense takes me there, so God's description of the very fine incense that he prescribed in Exodus 30 makes me wonder if there were any similarities.

Today's passage, Exodus 30-32, continues God's instructions for the completion of the tabernacle. I find it fascinating that he chose two artisans, Oholiab and Bezalel, to oversee the work, citing their unique expertise as craftsmen.

This week, George and I attended a class at church that is designed to equip us to become marriage mentors. During the session, our leader reminded us that we were not created to be well-rounded, a contradiction to much of the conventional wisdom our world offers. For that reason, I was initially inclined to disagree. But when he explained his point, he was exactly right.

What he shared is that God did not create anyone with all of the attributes, skills, and abilities needed to be a one person phenomenon. Every individual has unique talents and strengths that require us to rely on each other in community and fellowship.

You are gifted. You may have one or many gifts, but you need to discover what God has wired you to do and then do it for his glory. In the process, please don't waste any of life's precious time envying the talents or gifts of someone else--just trust that God chose YOUR gift for YOU, and that whatever YOU are gifted to do, it matters.

Bezalel and Oholiab may have thought their talents weren't so special, and most likely they never imagined their skills would warrant the mentioning of their names in scripture. Yet today, thousands of years later, the fact that they were craftsmen for God brings their legacy to our attention, a great reminder to us when we mistakenly believe that our little abilities are no big deal.

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