Thursday, November 9, 2017

Wasting Your Time Working on Cars

Not long ago I was doing some mechanic work on one of our cars. I was discussing everything I had to do on our car with someone and he said, "Well, you must really like working on cars."

I immediately responded, "No, I don't like it, but it saves me from having to pay someone else to fix it."

One of the things I don't like about working on cars is that it means I am using time I would normally be using to do something else. I didn't have time to work on my novel. The laundry got a little bit behind. Fortunately, I had already planned our church's music for the month or I would have fallen behind on that. I am not a mechanic and it takes me longer to work on the car than it would for someone who does it all the time. When I am forced to work as a mechanic I lose a bunch of time that I should be using to do what I am good at, what I am called to do.

The Apostles were faced with a similar situation. They were teachers and preachers of the Word of God. They had been doing all kinds of other things as well, though. The Church had a collection that they used to help needy widows and the Apostles had the responsibility of making sure that it was distributed to everyone in need. Unfortunately, they weren't reaching every widow in need and there was a large portion of the population that was being missed. When the complaints reached the Apostles ears and they realized how much more work the task would require they had to come up with a plan. "It would not be right for us to give up preaching in order to wait on tables." (Acts 6:2) Continuing to distribute the funds themselves would leave them no time to accomplish their primary task, preaching and teaching the Word of God. So the Apostles and the Church appointed some people who were better at seeing the problem to oversee the distribution.  While I have heard some people look down on the Apostles for this, saying that it demonstrated their own arrogance, the scripture doesn't present it that way. The passage tells us that the number of believers grew and even a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Just like the Apostles and me with my car repair, there comes a point in our lives where we have to make sure that we prioritize. God has given each of us a calling and a gift to use. If we become so focused on other things that we cannot accomplish our primary tasks or use the gifts that we have been given, we are wasting God's resources. God does not give us gifts so that we can ignore them for other "necessary" things. That doesn't mean that the occasional task can't be done even though it disrupts our  schedules and routines. But it does mean that we need to watch our tasks very carefully and if something gets in the way of us doing what God has gifted us to do, we need to make a plan. We need to find some other way to do what is necessary, while still using the gifts God has given us.

What gift has God given you? What are you called to do? If anything is keeping you from using your gifts, make a plan. Don't waste the gifts God has given you.

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