Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Right Tool for the Job - Sunday 1st October 2017

It always feels good to have just the right tool for the job. Whether it be a kitchen knife or a chisel, dressmaking scissors or a screwdriver, any task is easier if you have the right tool in your hands. When you stop to think about it, we all have a staggering collection of tools around us, from tin openers to marker pens, vacuum cleaners to smart phones, and we have a fairly good idea of which tools are needed for which jobs. You’re not going to try fixing a hook to your wall using a potato peeler!
There is a sense in which each of us is a tool in God’s tool kit of love and grace. Like all our different tools, we are each different before God. Some of us are good for one thing, some for another. Indeed, looking across the entire human race, God’s tool kit has no duplicates. Each one of us is just what God needs to complete intricate parts of his design for the world.
The Christian church has a long history of homogenising people, causing us to become more and more like each other. You can see this in our worship. We all stand to sing; we all sit to listen; we all kneel to pray. In churches where people raise their hands in worship - everyone raises their hands. In churches where people cross themselves to pray - everyone crosses themselves. This seems to run counter to what we learn of God through the Bible. Moses saw a burning bush, but God didn’t use that method again. Gideon saw an angel sitting under a tree - unique. Isaiah saw angels flying around the temple - unique. What we see is that God calls everyone in a unique way, and in doing so calls them to unique tasks. He never repeats himself.
You are unique. You have skills and opportunities to share God’s love that nobody else will ever have. Just because you don’t have a sense of calling like this person, or don’t do the things being done by that person, doesn’t mean you are not called, or do not have things to do for God. You are called to be you, not to be them. There’s no point trying to be like them, because they will always be better at it. What no-one else can do as well as you, is to be you.
God delights in difference. Every tool in his toolkit has a unique purpose. You - with your own assortment of strengths and weaknesses, fears and insecurities - are just what God needs to do something wonderful. So do it!

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