For me, the week starts on Sunday and most Sundays I am in church. This week, our worship service included the installation of the church council members. As a member, I went forward. The sacred verse quoted in the brief, prayer-filled installation was this…..
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another, gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
That got me thinking about a class I offered staff years ago. I wrapped a big box in fabulous gift paper. I added a big shiny bow. Then, I cut a slit in the top. I brought the box to the front of the room. I asked people to write on an index card what ways they are gifted, and what they did really well. I asked them to tell me what work inspired them. Then, I asked them to put the card in the box. Later, people shared what they had written. I asked them to demonstrate that we are not all the same; we need all the gifts of everyoneto meet our common good. I told the class that I would display the box in the reception area. I asked when they left to please make sure that they unwrapped their ‘gifts’ and use them so that all could see them and shine.
In the last week, I heard several short stories
…Phil is someone we support. He was hired by Sam’s Club to handle the carts. Last week, he had the opportunity to oversee the self-checkout. It was little scary, being asked to do something different- but how else would he discover his gifts? How else would his employer see his gifts if it was not “unwrapped” and put in the light?
…Grace is one of our employees. She was clear that she was different but was not sure anyone would really see her shine because of those differences. I am so glad she did not let people who say different is bad, keep her from shining. I see her shine all the time!
…My son told me the story of someone in his company who applied for a promotion but was told he wasn’t ready. He took the feedback and took the chance to acquire some new skills. He tried again. This time he was ready and he will shine in a new position. Feedback is a gift, it helps us see our gifts, and polish them up if we need to so they will shine.
Let’s do some unwrapping. See the gifts? Be thankful for them, polish them up, and use them, often. Take the chance that if the first person didn’t see, the next one will.