I remember looking at the class choices in front of me. Math was not easy and the idea of choosing anything higher than Basic Math twisted my stomach into knots. In my early teens, it was difficult for me to see past the next school year and into the kind of future where the choices I made that day would have any impact on my life at all.
I asked a friend what class she was choosing. She had already selected Algebra I. A few of my other friends were taking Geometry I. I stared at my options. No one that I knew would be taking Basic Math. How would it look if I didn’t take something like Algebra? What would everyone think of me?
I chose Algebra I. Within the first couple of months it was obvious to me, those around me, and the teacher that I did not belong in the class. I was failing fast. I talked to the counselor and was told that it was too late to change. I had to stick the year out.
I am the kind of person that will encourage you to shoot for the stars, don’t give up, stretch yourself as far as you can go, and celebrate your achievements. However, if you put a page full of numbers in front of me, be prepared for me to hand it right back to you. Algebra was not my friend and I have never forgotten that school year.
It wasn’t a total loss, I learned a lot from taking Algebra. It wasn’t what I expected to learn but it was a valuable lesson and it has stayed with me into my adult life.
God has a plan for each of us. That plan includes learning to serve Him and His people to the best of our ability. Some of us will excel in one area while others may grow in another.
We all have gifts and talents that can be used to serve God and His people. There are times when we can become so aware of what others are doing, where their gifts and talents may be, that we lose sight of our own. We can lose sight of how God could be using us today, if we would let Him.
I was so focused on what my friends were doing, so focused on what they would think of me, that I didn’t take the time to look at myself. All of my friends were academic; they were gifted in math, science, and the social sciences. My gifts were on the creative side of life. I excelled in drama, art, cooking, and clothing construction. However, I was so busy comparing myself to others that I saw those areas as of little value,instead of strengths.
Why do I share this story with you? I know I am not alone. I know there are some of you who still see themselves as lacking in gifts and talents because you are comparing yourselves to others. Instead of seeing your gift as being valuable and a strength, you may see it as holding little to no value.
I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well. (Psalms 139:14 Psalms 139:14I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.
American King James Version×)
You are wonderfully made. Pray about it and God will hear you. Ask Him to open your eyes to the gifts and talents that He has already given you. Ask Him to place people in your life that can recognize your skills and help you develop them. Then ask Him to help you apply them in service to Him and His people. You will be surprised at how faithful He is to answer that prayer.