Monday, March 15, 2010

Putting God in a Box

One of the main themes in this season of my life is the gifts that God has so graciously given me--not just spiritual gifts, but also gifts of talent. I’ve known what my gifts are for a long time. Before I had even heard the term ‘spiritual gift,’ I knew what God had given me and how I was supposed to use it. That’s not to say that I have used it well or wisely or really that much at all, but I’m working on that area of my life. (That’s a different blog for a different day.)

My gifts are teaching and knowledge. My talents are dancing and writing. Teaching is a hereditary trait in my family. 90% of the women on both sides of my family work in education. Writing and dancing are the two things I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. I didn’t really play much growing up: I taught dance class to my dolls and neighbors, and I wrote stories. That was my childhood.

As well as I know what my gifts and talents are, I know even better what they are not: I am not a musician in any shape or form. As a young child, I was convinced that I would one day voice a Disney princess. One afternoon, I recorded myself singing a song from “Beauty and The Beast.” Let’s just say that I was horrified when I played the tape back. I laid down my dreams of being a singer then and there. In high school, my drama coach insisted that I try out for the part of Marty Maraschino in “Grease.” She just knew I was perfect for the role. Well, bless my heart, I probably was--until the vocal part of the audition. I won’t ever forget the look on my drama coach’s face as she tried over and over to have me sing on key. She finally gave up, and I was assigned the comedic role of Jan. Unfortunately, our coach didn’t read the script correctly, and I had to sing anyway. I won the award of Best Comedic Role that year, and it was based on my singing voice! I wasn’t even trying to be funny!!

I’ve never been more aware of my lack of talent than since I married my musical genius of a husband. People have always assumed that because he is a musician, I am, too. My husband, along with everyone else close to him, was sure that the Lord would give Him a fellow worship leader as a wife. He even tried his best to turn me into one. Finally, he gave up and told me, “You just don’t hear music like normal people.” I guess I don’t.

During the fast, the Lord really began dealing with me on my lack of use of my gifts and talents. I sat down in my prayer time and surrendered them to him one by one, up until the last one--dancing. I explained to Him, “Lord, I’m in a Baptist church. How on earth am I going to serve you by dancing?”

He reminded me of one of my favorite weeks of the year--Vacation Bible School. Each year on the Sunday following VBS week, I would join our Children’s Pastor on stage and lead the children in motion and sign language to the music. The first year I participated, I was beside myself! Being able to express myself through motion in worship was like nothing I had ever experienced before. It has been one of my favorite days in my walk with God so far. I remember telling my husband, “This must be what it feels like for you every Sunday.”

The next week I spoke with our Children’s Pastor about taking on a bigger role in our upcoming VBS. A few weeks later, I found myself sitting in a room with VBS volunteers from across our region who would also be functioning in the same role as I. We started with prayer, and then our leader looked to me and asked, “So, what role do you have on your church’s worship team?” I suddenly realized that I was surrounded by worship leaders, team members, children’s choir directors---people with musical talent. “I’m just here to dance,” I told her.

She spent the next hour explaining the importance of teaching children to worship. As a mother, I felt that. I felt it deeply! She then turned to me and quoted 2 Samuel 6:14: “‘David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might.’ Worship isn’t just about the music; it’s an expression from the heart. That’s what these kids need to know.”

On the way home, I called my husband and squealed, “Babe, you are not going to believe this, but your wife is going to lead worship.”

I realized that I had put God in a box. I thought I knew the parameters of my gifts and talents. I was sure that I knew the places He could take me and the places that were impossible--even for Him. He didn’t give me a musical talent, but that doesn’t matter, for nothing is impossible with God.

Do you have a dream or desire that seems beyond impossible? Don’t lose heart; our Father is full of surprises!

‘For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

-Sunni Scott

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