By: Laura Rinas
“There once was a man who lived in a shoe… he had so many children that he could not… poo…."
My husband stopped talking and started laughing. I couldn’t help but laugh as well, rolling my eyes as I turned back to my laptop. I had just been telling him that I needed to write an article, and he chimed in with that little diddy, in a ridiculous attempt to help me. And it turns out, it did.
My husband is not a writer. I know it’s SHOCKING to read that, considering that epic track he just laid down. But I am. It’s my lane. I love to write, and I find it much easier than speaking to an actual human. It’s something that has always been true about myself. It was easy to come to this space in my life as an adult.
But what happens when you aren’t really sure of where your lane is? How to do you go about finding your voice in a world that has so many loud voices already in it?
There is no better way to start unearthing your own passions and gifts than to connect (or reconnect) with the One who put them there in the first place. We are all so excited to DO and MAKE and FIX and SOLVE… but our first step should always be that pause, that short inhale of breath where we take measure of what’s around us, what’s already there. And the best use of that pause is to start a conversation with God, asking him to help uncover the talents that He has set aside for you. He tells us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God wants us to walk in those good works that are THERE, waiting for us. Let Him show you the way.
Ask your community
Start conversations with those who know and love you. Ask them for an honest critique of where they think your gifts lay. You might be surprised by their answers.
Look at where you feel most at ease. Search for spots in your day where you feel a little lighter, where things come a little easier. Look for the blocks in your schedule that leave you feeling filled up instead of a little more stressed, a little more drained. If you can’t find any, cast your net out farther. Maybe you felt like that during a certain class in school, or when you helped your friend with that one thing a while back. Maybe you are always pleasantly surprised by how much volunteering your time with that one organization fills you up. Find those nuggets of nourishment and then pursue them!
Get (and stay) in your lane
Maybe the problem isn’t that you can’t find ANYTHING that fills you up, but that you have found TOO MANY things. So you do ALL THE THINGS ALL THE TIME, and even those that filled you up before are leaving you feeling defeated and empty now. Time to rescale your lane. God never meant for any one human to be the whole body.
The beauty and joy of being in the body of Christ is that we get to each add our own joy and talents to this amazing community. Your gift may be wonderful on its own, but when combined with the gifts of others and the movement of the Holy Spirit, it has the ability to become so much more than you, so much more than us. We spend so much time to either hold a monopoly on our talent or spreading ourselves so thin trying to juggle ALL THE TALENTS, we miss opportunities (which were prepared for us in advance!) to see the work we do with our hands cause ground-shaking ripples in the kingdom of God.
When we discover and use the gifts that have been stored within us, we begin taking part in God’s holy work. And the beauty of this relationship is, we have no cause to worry that we will fail and muck it all up. If you look at the verses right before our spot in Ephesians, we read, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We have been promised that we have works that have been prepared for us, we have gifts that have been given to us, and blessedly, none of it is up to us.
Find Your Part to Play
We are all a part of the body of God, and that means we all have our own part to play. I consider myself part of the fingertips… pounding on the keys or holding the pen. My work will not look like the work of the eye, who sees the hurt in other people, or the work of the ear, who hears the call of the poor, or the work of the feet, who spurs on action to make right the things that have gotten so wrong. But there in the center lays the Heart, the Spirit that helps us move all together as one. Trust that God will put you where you need to be, should you just ask. Trust that God will show you what you need to see, should you just ask.