To say that I am geographically challenged would be far too kind of an estimation of my abilities. If you want someone that can lift very heavy weights, do martial arts, learn and utilize foreign languages, handle a weapon, or other skills that might come in handy if one is a spy, I am your guy. But if you need a spy that can tell you whether Prague is east or west of Istanbul, I recommend you choose someone, literally anyone else but me. In fact, even if you just want directions to some place in my hometown, the place where I have lived literally my entire life, I still recommend you ask anyone but me.
It really is that bad.
Needless to say, the advent of the GPS has made my life infinitely more efficient. Before it came along, I had to rely mostly on DWAI.
“Dana, where am I?”
I have made more calls like that than I care to admit. These predated the cellphone GPS, obviously, and resulted in the early years of our marriage of her pulling out an atlas and saying, “Okay, what road do you see?” From there, she would guide me turn by turn and road by road to my destination, and then doubtless reach for the Tylenol once I finally arrived and hung up.
I thought of that this past Saturday as she and I took 42 people from our youth group and church to a local corn maze. I am not sure who came up with the brilliant idea of turning standing fields of corn into elaborate mazes, but whoever did so was a genius. They are tons of fun, clearly very profitable, and we will be going back.
Everyone broke up into groups and went into the maze. Dana dutifully let me lead the way. Mind you, we were handed a map going into it, but I was not really interested in that. I mean, it’s corn; how hard can it be?
We walked into the entrance of maze number one, and half an hour later walked out — at the exit of maze number two. Those two mazes do not even intersect. I cannot really begin to explain that one. Dana just sighed...
“Let’s do it again,” I said, “and this time, you lead the way and use the map.”
Step by step, carefully noting each twist and turn, she guided us through maze one and then maze two successfully. In fact, on the second maze, a group fell in behind us as she led. I looked back at them, and in answer to my unasked question, they replied, “We want to get out of here, and she looks like she knows what she is doing.”
There is no shame in my game; I will let her lead and take credit for great delegating skills any day of the week.
There is a very beneficial humility that comes from realizing that no one is equipped with every skill and ability. Especially when it comes to church, God used a very picturesque analogy to describe what he does with the gifts and abilities he gives. He told the local church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 12:14-18, “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”
Neither individual believers nor even a single family are the body; they are merely body parts. When the whole body comes together, every part plays a role and all the body benefits. God did not give us our talents and abilities so that we could sit on the couch with them; he gave us our talents and abilities so that we could come together as one complete body and serve the entire body with them.
There is no shame in this arrangement. You may not be able to sing, but you can be blessed and helped by the singing of others while they, in turn, are blessed and helped by you keeping the nursery. The guy in the pew behind you may not preach, but he can be blessed and helped by the preaching while others are blessed and helped by his giving. Some will be great soul winners, others mighty prayer warriors, still others great encouragers. Some will lead, some will hold up the arms of those who lead as Aaron and Hur did for Moses. There are so many ways that every single person can obey 1 Corinthians 12:14-18 and be a benefit to the body, but one way that can never happen is by sitting home with those gifts. Don’t let your body go missing its knee or its nose or its hangy-ball-in-the-back-of-the-throat, which technically is called a uvula, but really should be called a hangy-ball-in-the-back-of-the-throat.
Use your gifts for the good of the body. One of my gifts, by the way, is having enough sense to let my wife tell me how to get from point A to point B.