“May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.”
Hebrews 13:21 (NLT)
Once upon a time, there were some animals that wanted to start a school. They decided the courses would include running, climbing, swimming, and flying. Then they decided that all of the animals should take all of the courses.
That’s where the problem started. The duck was better than his teacher at swimming, but he only made passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. So they made him stay after school to practice running. This caused his webbed feet to be badly worn, and his grade dropped to average in swimming. But everybody felt less threatened and more comfortable with that—except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but because of so much makeup work in swimming, he caught pneumonia and had to drop out of school. The squirrel showed outstanding ability in climbing, but he was extremely frustrated in flying class because the teacher insisted that he start from the ground up rather than the treetop down. He developed charley horses from overextension, so he only got a C in climbing and a D in running. The eagle was the problem student and was disciplined for being a nonconformist. For instance, in climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but he insisted on using his own way to get there — by flying to the top. Finally, because he refused to participate in swimming class, he was expelled.
What’s the point of this story for you and me?
God has designed specific animals to excel in specific areas, and he doesn’t expect them to do all the other things. A duck is made to be a duck and not something else. People are the same way. When you expect every person to have the same abilities and gifts, you’ll get frustration, mediocrity, and failure.
You were made to be you—and no one else. God has given you unique abilities, and he wants you to use them for your unique purpose.
Your abilities match your calling. Some people think a calling is just for priests, nuns, or missionaries. But every person is called by God.
First, we’re called to salvation. Second, we’re called to service. You know what your calling is by looking at your SHAPE—your Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences.
You have a calling on your life. You have a life mission, life message, life goal, and life purpose.
How will you use your unique SHAPE to fulfill your calling?
Talk It Over
- Based on your SHAPE, what do you think God wants you to do with your life?
- How have you tried to excel in an area that does not fit your SHAPE? How has that kept you from serving at your best?
- Why has God given each of us different shapes?