Summary: God has called and equipped us to do what we are.
DO WHAT YOU ARE
Once upon a time the animals decided they should do something meaningful to meet the challenges of the new world. So they organized a school. They developed an activity curriculum of climbing, swimming, running, and flying. To make the administration easier all the animals took all the subjects.
The duck was excellent in swimming, in fact better than the instructor. But her grades in flying were barely passing. Her running grade was very low because she was so slow. Since she was so slow she had to drop swimming, which she really enjoyed to spend extra time running. This running caused her webfeet to be badly worn, so that by the end of the semester she was only an average swimmer.
The rabbit was at the top of the class in running. Swimming, however was a challenge, she developed a nervous twitch in her leg muscles because of the make-up work in swimming. Her speed fell of because of this nasty muscle twitch.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he was always in trouble in flying class. The teacher insisted that he start from the ground and go up but he wanted to start in the treetops and go down. He developed cramps in his legs from overexertion, and his grade fell in climbing, which he enjoyed, to a “C.” His flying teacher gave him a “D” because he could not follow instructions.
The eagle was always being disciplined. For instance in climbing class he beat everyone to the top of the tree but he insisted on using his own way to get there . . . flying.
The moral is clear. Each animal has its own natural abilities that is was designed to use. The only way the animal fails is if it is forced to do something it was not gifted to do. What is true of the animals of the forest is also true of us who walk upright. God has not made us all the same. Discover your natural abilities and enjoy them. Rabbits don’t fly. Eagles don’t swim. Squirrels don’t have feathers. Ducks look funny trying to climb trees. So what exactly were you designed to do.
Yehudi Menuhin, the famous violinist, has held audiences all over the world spellbound with his playing. He made his debut in San Francisco at the age of 7 and started a worldwide tour by the age of 12 with his historic concert at Carnegie Hall. In his memories, Unfinished Journey, Menuhin tells about his love affair with music.
From the time he was 3, Menuhin’s parents took him to concerts in New York where he heard Louis Persinger. Menuhin asked his parents for a
Violin on his fourth birthday and for Louis Persinger to teach him how to play. A family friend provided the violin, but it was a toy one with metal strings. Although he could have hardly held a full size violin, he was furious with the gift. He writes, “I burst into sobs, and threw it on the ground.” Menuhin said he realized he wanted nothing less than the real thing because he writes, “I knew instinctively that to play was to be.”
This story is not uncommon for musicians, John Coltrane, the saxophonist who played for Dizzie Gillespie and Miles Davis had a similar experience. Coltrane nearly died of a drug overdose; he came to faith in Christ and gave up the drugs and drinking. His later works were some of his best. He wrote “A Love Supreme” a thirty-two minute musical praise to God. After an extraordinary performance one night he stepped of the stage and said, “Now let your servant depart in peace.” He confessed that his mission was done; God had sent him to make music and write “A love Supreme.” Maybe we are designed to do, who we are. Again, think about it, maybe we are designed to do who we are.
In Biography magazine there was a feature on Katie Couric. Her sisters say that even as a child she would gather the other children around and entertain them. Which was obviously good training to work with Matt, Bryant, and Willard.
In this world “we usually become what we do” but shouldn’t it be “we do what we are.” This morning we have children and youth present that have not made this most crucial decision, further we have senior adults who no longer have to consider their career, and then there is the rest of us who daily wonder, “Why do we do what we do?” This message, however is not about career (which would include only a few), it is about hearing and following God’s calling for our lives (which concerns us all).
Vocation & Career
Be mindful that what we are talking about is a vocation not a career. Vocation comes from the Latin “Vocatio” or calling. A career is a way of putting bread on the table. If your calling and career intersect you are one of the lucky few. Most people have to have a career and do their calling on their own time. In the 18th chapter of Acts, Paul identifies himself as a tentmaker by profession. The scripture indicates that he spoke every Sabbath and makes no mention of any other activity, presumedly because he was making tents. Paul’s calling was to be a missionary his career was to be a