Way back in the 1980s a craze for archeology started. People who hadn’t considered the field began to look at it seriously because they believed that it offered adventure, romance, travel, discovery, and triumphs. All thanks to George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg and a rather charismatic swashbuckling archeologist by the name of Indiana Jones (portrayed by Harrison Ford). There were four films in the series and I’ve seen all four. By in large the films that I most enjoyed were the first and third films in the series: Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
It was after reading 1 Kings 7, and the corresponding First 5 teaching on that chapter that my mind wandered to a quote that I remembered from a movie that I watched: “Choose wisely.” I originally thought that the quote came from the character Yoda in one of the Star Wars movies: however a quick google search yielded that the line I was thinking about came from the Last Crusade movie. Indiana Jones has to save his father’s life by choosing the the authentic holy grail out of a choice of many, many cups. In the cavern guarded by the Grail Knight, Indiana is instructed to “choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.”
The character Indiana Jones had vast archeological knowledge, practical experience, all backed up by a gift of deductive reasoning (thus allowing him to “choose wisely”). And while each of us may not have the vast educational and practical background in archeology that this character has, we too have gifts and abilities.
Each of us have certain traits, natural abilities, and spiritual gifts given to us by God Himself. I believe that God doesn’t want our busy work. So rather than blindly rushing in and volunteering for everything that leaders at Church ask you to do, you need to stop and seriously think and pray about what you should be doing for His Kingdom. I think that God has assignments for each of us to accomplish. We cannot accomplish those assignments if we are not using our time and talents in the right way, in the right service. You would do best to choose wisely that to which you commit your time. Yet, often we don’t know just what God would have us do.
Last April I completed a Spiritual Gifts survey, and while I was not surprised by my two strongest gifts, it was the third gift on the list did surprise me. I knew that I had the gift of Faith and Administration (especially that of organization). That’s because I naturally gravitate to each of these, they are integral to my very nature. But when teaching showed up as my number three spiritual gift I was really surprised. Teaching? Really? Well, that’s what I thought at the time. The thought of teaching was rather foreign and absurd to me. Sure, I used “teaching” mode when raising my son (not that I did such a stellar job at it), I spent a few years teaching karate to children, a few Sunday School classes, and a little bit of time being a small group leader for women’s Bible Studies, but that was the extent.
So to God I went, and I prayed that God would verify to me that I indeed had this gift of teaching, because it seemed to me that I was a very unlikely candidate for this one (to this day I still shake my head in amazement over it). And, I asked Him to show me how to use this gift to bring Glory to Him.
Then I began to notice something about just what I was doing. I was writing, journaling my reflections about what I was reading in the Bible and from wise Christian leaders. God was bringing up times in my life and causing me to reflect about my experiences and how each experience that He brought to my mind either caused me to choose wisely or choose poorly in my walk with Him. My thoughts were presented in a cohesive way, and to my amazement they made sense. God wove each one of those journal entries into a story reflecting my growth or understanding with Him. I was writing, actually writing! And, writing was always something that I did rather poorly, or marginally, throughout most of my life, even while I worked in my Corporate Communications career. Believe me when I say that I extremely disliked writing and I could just get by with writing using the talent that I had. It never came naturally to me. Yet, how was it that I am now able to write?
I know for a certain fact that it is God who gifted me with this ability rather late in life. It is God who decides just what I will write about, He weaves the story, He guides my hand. I didn’t even realize that I was using this gift for the purpose that God intended, to take my experiences (good and bad) and show how they’ve effected my faith life. And, it is God who prompted me to share these reflections. Maybe my reflections will help other women in their faith walk, I certainly pray so. That part is in God’s hands. I simply wish to obey.
Not sure what your gifts are? Take some time to think about those things you do well, those things to which you naturally gravitate, those things that come easy to you. Then, if you like take a Spiritual Gifts assessment. You, like me, may be surprised at what you learn. God may have a delight in store for you. Then once you have it all figured out pray to God and ask Him how He wants you to use your gifts. He answered me, and I know that He will answer you. His guidance will help you to choose wisely on how to use your gifts and abilities in His service to His glory.
To paraphrase the Grail Knight: Choose wisely, for following God will bring you everlasting life, while false gods will take everlasting life from you.
Choose wisely what you will do to glorify God, it has a lasting effect.
Choose wisely – follow God’s promptings, follow His Word, follow His way.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:” (1 Peter 4:10, ESV)
Jesus said: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, ESV)