My family and I spent our Memorial Day weekend doing some intensive spring cleaning to the rental we’ve been living. Our back screened in porch has been a dirty mess. I’m not sure when we moved in this house in November if it had been necessarily clean, but add my family, Mojo (my dog), the sand of Florida; the porch was in desperate need of a good dose of some elbow grease.
I spent most of my morning sweeping, hosing down, and mopping the floor with a Pine-Sol and bleach concoction. Whenever I clean like that I start thinking of my grandmother. My grandmother had a special gift when it came to cleaning. Sure some may laugh about that being a gifting but it really is one, and she really had it. That woman could wash or bleach anything and get it spic and span. In my own internal dialogue, I started to question God. “Um God why didn’t I get that gifting? Loving to clean and being so gifted at it would have been a really good gift to inherit.” As my own internal thoughts continued somehow I knew that my grandmother would have been able to get my back porch so much cleaner than me, and I began feeling like a failure at cleaning. No matter how hard I scrubbed, I knew in this area she would have out done me. Truthfully I have no doubt she’d have done it better.
The older I get the more I’ve come to realize that we all have strengths and weaknesses. We can’t compare ourselves to others because God made us unique. Sure perhaps I could have learned more from my grandmother about the wonders of bleach and kerosene. But no matter how hard I try I will never compare to her in some areas. We all have our own races to run in life. We have to stay in our own lanes. Too many people try to run their race of life staring at the runners besides them. They keep their eyes on them, but yet wondering why they are tripping up in areas of their own lives. If a runner doesn’t look forward they don’t know where they are going. They come up to a hurdle and trip. Too many people in the body of Christ watch others and try their best to shove them into a box of their own design. What they don’t realize is they are stunting those around them instead of helping them. There is a balance in this, but in essence you just have to let people be who God created them to be in life.
If God wanted us all to be just like one another, make the same choices as the other, and look just like each other then He would have made us that way. God made us all different. I have a confession to make, I think I’ve spent way too long looking at other people in my life and comparing myself; instead of looking at who God made me and embracing that woman. This doesn’t mean I stop cleaning, but it means I don’t take it personally when I realize this may not be my gifting. God puts the giftings in our lives. We are just a vessel. Realistic people will look at a glass of water and call it a glass of water. Optimistic people will call it half full. Pessimists will call it half empty. But Children of God need to look at the water, know and speak that God will multiply it to bless more people with than they thought possible. Whatever your giftings and abilities are, no matter how miniscule they may seem, God can take them and make them mighty in His Kingdom. (Matt 25:13-40)
So may my adventure in cleaning my back porch be a reminder to us all. Embrace the you God made. Own your talents and your shortcomings. Quit trying to be like someone else, and in being the best you God called you to be; you’ll be giving others the permission to do the same.
God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.
*Note my 2nd blog for the week will be released on Friday. I am very excited for it, so stay tuned!