Image by iDanSimpson via Flickr
Several years ago a friend and I discussed our nursing careers with each other.
“I am jealous of your skills,” I said. “You have such in-depth specific knowledge about the heart and how to help people having heart problems.”
Barbara worked many years in ICU and saved many people’s lives. She was an expert in cardiac nursing.
“I am such a generalist,” I lamented.
I was surprised by her response.
“Yet that is what I envy about you,” she said. “You have such a wide base of knowledge and experience. You could respond to so much more than I could. We need nurses like you.”
We both laughed – each envying the other. And each of us left that conversation appreciating our own careers paths a little more after seeing it from a different point of view.
I remembered this story from my past the other day when I felt the green eye monster raise his ugly head within my heart when I envy another person’s deep conviction and passion for mission work in Tanzania.
Then I read about a fellow blogger’s heart for adopting multi-need children.
And still another one working with the homeless in Austin Texas.
Lord what is wrong with me? I do help with the free medical clinic and have volunteered educating and raising money to prevent domestic violence. I teach some small groups and serve on committees. But it is all so vanilla!! Am I missing your voice to jump in with both feet into a service?
I have prayed about this for a very long time and never find an open door inviting me to go deeper.
I don’t think I am afraid to answer a specific call.
Deep down I don’t think I have missed His message either.
Confession time: Don’t tell any one but I used to ask in prayer for a voice like Sandi Patty so I could sing like her on stage – drawing people to God through music. He did bless me with a fairly good soprano voice – not a soloist but one who could carry a tune with the choir.
My calling was to be a choir member.
Maybe God is inviting me to be as He made me – a generalist – one who can do a wide range of support to various service projects.
I am curious – Do any of you struggle with this?
Jean Wise says
Johnnie we have got to play Trivia Pursuit together some time!! would be fun
I’m a good partner at Trivia Pursuit because I know a little about a lot. But I’ve often wished that I was an expert at something — had that single-minded drive or ambition. So yes, I struggle with this, too. Both the post and the comments have been edifying to me this morning. Thanks!
The best thing about the gifts that God gives His children is that they are for us to use to bless others, and we all can impact people no matter what our gifts are…
Jean Wise says
Laughing at being whipped vanilla. I hope that is a good thing. LOL
Thanks for the encouragement and input. It certainty helps to know others struggle with this too. I guess deep down I wonder what is wrong with being average and a generalist. If that is how God made me, shouldn’t I accept it?
If you are vanilla, Jeanie, you are WHIPPED vanilla. Vanilla that doesn’t stop long in one place, vanilla that works hard and long at giving to others.
Phather Phil Malmstrom says
It’s amazing, isn’t it Jean? We’re all Blessed with such wonderfully diverse gifts, talents and callings and yet we all tend to yearn for the things we feel may have slipped our grasp. I’m certainly guilty of being envious of others’ talents now and again, but I’m also excited to see where God’s leading me next… So much adventure to seek and service left to do!
Have a Blessed Day!
This is so good — I used to lament all the time that I was never the best in anything — just average at everything (well, except singing. I am below average at singing). Being willing able to do whatever God calls, though, is a blessing when I stand back and look at it. He knows my talents and giftings and asks me to use them. I guess this is all that matters.
Jean Wise says
Shandra and Nancy – you both have great points. Holding babies is so important. good reminder. And all the people in the scriptures that go nameless but did key things. You both have added to my pondering about this. Thank you.
Yes. And that is why I love that, within the pages of Holy Scripture, God records that for some in Israel, their job was simply to carry the tent pegs for the tabernacle. If that’s all I ever get to do as unto the Lord, I guess it matters.
I struggle as well but remind myself that it is obedience, not talent that God looks upon. I think of the ‘bigger’ things I have done for God and he always reminds me that the small things (like holding a baby, told about in my blog called dulce Maria) that matter just as much to him. Let him be your judge, not comparing yourself to others.