You’re not me. Thank God.
I had to make a trip to Home Depot yesterday. Every time I walk in that place, insecurity greets me at the entrance.
“Welcome. You’re about to get in way over your head!”
I swear the cheesy overhead music scratches to a halt and everybody shoots their eyes in my direction, rolls them in unison, and then goes back to business.
I’m still waiting on the app that helps you navigate your way through the store. It’s probably just me, but I think they hide items down unrelated aisles in order to separate the naive homeowners from the professional contractors. And ask for help? Not a chance. Guys are supposed to know this stuff.
It’s not that I’m a total waste in regards to home improvement. I know my way around a table saw. I’m no stranger to the drill, or the tape measure, despite my math allergy. I’m just not the eat sawdust for breakfast, I’ll be in the garage, hand me that wrench kind of guy.
As a kid, while my brother was in the shed learning how to sharpen lawn mower blades, I was in my room reading comics or getting lost in a movie. I was the kid standing in front of a karaoke machine, practicing to be the sixth member of *NSYNC. Don’t judge me.
I had no interest in learning about construction or auto repair; I spent most days in my imagination.
Looking back, I wish I’d taken the time to learn some of those things. As a new homeowner, I’m quickly realizing the value of fixing stuff yourself, and though I have learned a lot in my adult years, I know it will never come naturally to me. I’m wired differently.
But that doesn’t always sit well with society.
According to some, men are supposed to alternate time between the garage and the football game. Hunting, fishing, burping, and eating are top priorities.
Women are supposed to love arts-n-crafts and shopping, but spend most of their time in the kitchen, preferably shoeless and with child.
However, we don’t all fit those molds. While I believe there are certain roles each sex must play, I think the beauty of culture lies in true diversity.
The Bible presents God as Creator, which by definition refers to the compilation of diverse elements. The mission of God, then, is the restoration of the cosmos, beginning internally with the heart and continuing out to all of creation.
In restoration of the heart, God uses a diversity of abilities or “spiritual gifts” to strengthen the faith of believers and to reveal His grace to humanity. You can read about the gifts here. Believers are given these unique abilities, not to mystify or to gloat, but to glorify God and to serve mankind.
In a similar way, God has created each person with unique talents and interests of varying degrees for the purpose of social cultivation.
Take the auto industry. It’s made up of engineers and designers, builders and mechanics, marketers and salesmen. All of these roles are essential, but they require very different skill sets and thought processes. Humanity is served through the combination of each element.
I don’t expect an engineer to understand sales demographics; that job is for the marketing department. I would never expect the guy who sold me my car to fix my busted rearview mirror.
Some people are freakishly gifted and can master anything they put their hands to; most of us are not those people.
Sure, you can teach almost anyone to sing on pitch or draw a landscape. With practice these skills can be learned, but there is a level of talent that comes only as a birthright.
It goes beyond hitting the right notes. When a singer’s voice transports you from your seat to a world of emotions, reducing you to tears, that is evidence of something deeper.
More than organized lines and colors, when an artist turns a canvas into a living organism that speaks to people on an individual level, that is a signature of divinity.
At the same time, many creative types are socially awkward, abstract thinkers. That’s where the assertive, linear minds step in to balance to the equation. We all have a role to play.
Each of us was born with a gift, a purpose: To bring glory to God, and to serve mankind.
Work to cultivate what God has given you. If you don’t know what that is yet, start here; the rest comes through prayerful introspection. What captures your attention like nothing else? What do find compelling? What comes naturally to you? That’s probably what you should be doing.
What do you think? Join me in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: lisaeeeee (Creative Commons)