A few nights ago, my oldest son turned our kitchen into a dance floor.
With moves I never knew he had, he glided around our little rancher with joy. It turns out, he spent weeks learning dances like the Sid Shuffle and the Cha Cha at school during “brain breaks.” He had a gift I didn’t even know about. My husband and I could not contain our smiles as we asked each other, “Where did he get this?”
My hubby and I are not known for our dance moves. Chris affectionately refers to my dancing persona as Elaine from Seinfeld. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, Google it to give yourself a good laugh.
As much as I love a good beat, dancing is not one of the gifts God gave me. Marching in the school band and playing instruments are more in my wheelhouse, although I happily move around the floor with my son and join the fun.
What struck me as I watched my son strut around our kitchen is this: he was being himself. There was no shame, embarrassment or apprehension. If he can carry that carefree abandon with him for the rest of his life, I will be a content Mama.
As a girl, I remember watching a live production of the Nutcracker. Dancers flowed across the stage with perfect grace and poise and my soul drank it in like parched soil in need of water.
As much as I loved every minute of the performance, what filled me most was a sense of longing.
Although I couldn’t quite pinpoint it at twelve years old, I had a deep sense that these performers had something I lacked. What I didn’t realize was that I didn’t lack anything. I was simply chasing after the wrong dream.
God gives each one of us gifts to reflect his glory. When we chase someone else’s gift, our souls darken a light created to shine.
When I pursue someone else’s creativity or talent, I become stuck because I can’t see I already have.
I forget that we are each unique creations made to tell a story of God’s love. When we compare and are jealous, we turn his story into a competition.
As I read Ephesians 4 the other day, I realized something. Our spiritual and natural gifts often result in something that is the complete opposite of what God intended: comparison. But what were our gifts were intended to create? Unity.
Although Paul was referring to spiritual gifts here, the same principal applies to other gifts and talents as well. What God gave each of us was intended to work together, not against each other. As the individual part works together to create a whole, functioning church, we thrive and come to life.
We come alive because we’re not envying or clamoring for what someone else has. Instead, we’re a complete, full and functioning church, working together to spread his love to the ends of the earth.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:16 NIV
God, help us. Helps us to see the grace and good gifts you’ve given to each one of us. Help us to see you have a good plan and story you began weaving before the foundation of the earth.
May we work together instead of against each other. May we be a reflection of your glory and not a stumbling stone for others.