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Monday, July 5, 2010

Obedient to God's Design

From Behind the Stories, Jim Walker, excerpts from pages 39 - 40.

Whether his books sell a lot or a little, Jim feels his first responsibility is to write the kind of stories he feels God has gifted him to write. If for some reason he couldn't write the kind of stories he wants to tell, he says he'd just find some other way to express himself. "If I wasn't writing books, I'd be telling stories to the homeless or something. I can't help it," he says, "I have to be obedient to God's design."

"Obedient to God's design." Have you realized that God's will for you is inextricably tied to the thing that you do almost as naturally as breathing, the one thread that weaves through your life, the thing you can't help doing?...Whatever your gift is, the world needs it. It's your particular light, not meant to be hidden under a basket. If you don't know what it is, pray for God to show you. Look at the things you have loved doing, especially in childhood.

The key to your contribution to life, to God's kingdom, is in the way he designed you. In obedience to that design, you will find great joy.

Jean said:

Lord, I want to be obedient to Your wondrous design for me and my life. I've learned that my work brings me joy and purpose, and it gives You joy and pleasure when I'm working within my gifts. When I'm doing tasks that involve the gifts You have tucked inside my life.

So, what things come as natural to me as breathing? I've had more than 60 years to figure that out. And it did take me most of that time to do just that, I'm ashamed to say.

What things come as natural as breathing to me?
  • There's nurturing others and taking care of them.
  • Encouraging others - it's really selfish of me, Lord, because I get so much pleasure from doing this!
  • Fixing problems - I can't help it, Lord. When confronted with a problem my first inclination is to find a way to fix it.
  • Organizing - yes, I'm one of those nutty people who enjoys cleaning out closets and kitchen drawers!.
  • That leads me to leading others - I enjoy organizing projects and people to get the projects done.
  • Teaching - I love seeing the light bulb come on for other people
  • And then there is writing. I love putting words and phrases, sentences and paragraphs to work on paper or screen.
There we have it, Father. The things I think You made me good at. The things that make me feel good while I'm doing them. Sure, I have to practice a lot. And I had to be educated in how to do these things correctly. And there are plenty of other people around who do these better than I. But these are things I enjoy doing.

And, looking back, they are things I enjoyed as a child and a teen. They are things that have grown with me. Like the gnarled branches of a tree twisted when it was a sapling, these gifts that You planted in me have grown up with me and shaped me.

Father, show me the specific tasks, the projects, the opportunities for using these gifts for Your pleasure. That's why You created me to begin with - for Your pleasure.  [photos courtesy of Morguefile.]

God said:

You're exactly right, Little One. I made You for My own pleasure.

Isn't it neat that, when you are living and working and serving within those gifts, and you are bringing Me so much pleasure, well, it brings you pleasure, too.

I planned it to work like that from day one.

Don't you think that is just toooo cool!