spiritual gifts...

In almost every church I have attended, at one time or another, there was a semi-forced ritual of taking a spiritual gifts class. Much like the hit Hallmark takes for promoting Valentine's, Mothers and Fathers Day - there is a bit of self promotion involved.

When you take the test, realize what your gifts are, then you can be plugged into the church in your given field. I don't remember the questions or answers of any of mine but I do about the last one that DH took. After politely answers all the questions, he came up very strong in hospitality. If you have spent five minutes with him, you would know - this is so not true. He loves to talk to people. He once talked to a complete stranger at a street fair for over an hour. We thought it was a long lost friend as we impatiently waited, and waited and waited for him to finish. By the time he did, we were past caring who this guy was and when we found out he was a stranger, some of us went off.

I don't remember anyone at the church trying to plug him into any hostessing duties. Where he really shined was at one church during a fact finding committee trying to build a new santuary and his sharing that for a buliding that is used less than 10 hours a week, it didn't make sense to spend a gazillion dollars to build a new building. I was never more proud of him. Imagine a few someone's on that committe wished his hospitality skills had been put to use, elsewhere.

The Stories of Noah, David and Abraham seem to point to God not caring much about spiritual gifts but rather, His Will. Paul, Peter and the other disciples, did not seemed to come with gifts, not even having the simple gifts of faith, prayer and hope. God doesn't seem to care too much about what you have been graced with but what you are willing to do. Make no mistake, if you choose him - it is a rocky road. There is chaos, pain, and grief in the midst of whatever gifts you have been given. We all have special gifts and talents, do we always use them or use them correctly? If we let ourselves go and do what is uncomfortable, goes against our grain, so to speak...what happens? We add to our experience and what was unfamiliar, is not familiar. It is human nature to think a bit grand of oneself if we feel like we have a handle in that area. We also are hesitant, if we think we don't know much about where we are at. It is God who gives the spiritual gifts, when and for long, we need them. They may last a moment or a lifetime, ours is not to figure out why. Ours is to live in the Moment.