Here is long-told story. Once upon a time, animals organized a school. They adopted a curriculum of running, climbing, swimming, and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all of the subjects.
The duck was excellent in swimming; in fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying, and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to drop swimming and stay after school to practice running. This caused his web feet to be badly worn, so that he was only average in swimming. But average was quite acceptable, so nobody worried about that – except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but developed a nervous twitch in his leg muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he encountered constant frustration in flying class because his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. He developed “charlie horses” from overexertion, and so only got a C in climbing and a D in running.
The eagle was a problem child and was severely disciplined for being a non-conformist. In climbing classes he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there.
The obvious moral of the story is a simple one – each animal has its own set of capabilities in which it will naturally excel – unless it is expected or forced to fill a mold that doesn’t fit. What is true of creatures in the forest is true of Christians in the family. God has not made us all the same. He never intended to. It was He who planned and designed the differences and variations in the Body.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12, that we are all different even though we are in the same body of Christ:
“Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”
God has arranged and designed every one of us just as He wanted us to be, with all of our differences. We are not accidents. We are all needed and we are all important.
Romans 12:6-8 even tells us that we each have spiritual gifts:
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
In his book, S.H.A.P.E. by Eric Rees, he encourages his readers to find and fulfill their unique purpose. Here is how you can do that.
- Embrace you spiritual gifts – S
- Connect to your heart (the things that make you laugh, cry, angry) – H
- Tap into your abilities and skills – A
- Express your unique, God-given personality – P
- Boldly share your experiences – E
Bryan Mills is a character in the movie “Taken”. He is determined to rescue his daughter from slave traders who have kidnapped her. He talks with one on the phone and says, “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
Be like Bryan Mills and fulfill you purpose, passion and unique shape.