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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Finding your fit

For in the same way that one body has so many different parts, each with different functions; we, too—the many—are different parts that form one body in the Anointed One. Each one of us is joined with one another, and we become together what we could not be alone.  (Romans 12:4-5 VOICE)

I have shared before that I actually enjoy the challenge of assembling one of those "kits" of furniture you can buy these days to have a quick piece for your room.  They usually come with tons and tons of screws, little connecting devices, glue, nails, an occasional "special part" you have to figure out how to use, and instructions with varying degrees of actual "descriptors" to help you complete the project as it was designed.  On occasion, I have had to take apart something midway through because I didn't really follow the instructions all that closely.  I find a whole lot of effort screwing in of long screws in the "pre-drilled" holes goes completely "unappreciated" when the back is on the front of the project!  It is kind of like that in the family of God, too.  We can get a little too carried away with the way we "think things should be", expending a whole lot of effort getting them to the point we begin to see something take form in our corporate lives, then realize we might just have things "put together" in a little bit of a wrong manner.  The parts may have "fit" for a while, but in the end, you can see where they really weren't the correct fit in the first place. Rework is seldom the most enjoyable part of our process, but that "reset" actually helps us get things as they should be!

We are all "parts", working to fit into the whole.  As parts, we make up a unique function within the lives of those around us - we possess a purpose unique to our character, talent, and spiritual development.  We truthfully can attempt to fulfill someone else's role for a long, long time, but if we are not the "part" meant to fit into that role, all the effort we may exert will be good, but it won't be great!  It won't be as it could be - because someone else was meant to fit into that role.  As a leader for many years in the healthcare industry, I hired a lot of staff.  Some "fit", others didn't. They all interviewed well, showed potential of some sort, and even displayed the character traits I was looking for.  Yet, when they attempted to fit into the group they'd be working with, the fit just wasn't right.  Was I wrong to hire them?  Not always.  Sometimes the group needed a little "shaking up" to get things moving in the right direction again.  At other times, I was right in the selection, but not in the placement I gave that individual.  When I restructured what they did in the team, it made all the difference.  Did I ever make a totally wrong hire?  You bet!  Those individuals just never did fit as they should and as a result, they have a fit somewhere else!

In a practical sense, we all have a "fit" in God's family.  Finding that fit is kind of hard sometimes.  Someone will attempt to make us fit here or there, but we will just not find the fit all that rewarding and it may even be a little hard for us to be in that place.  When I was coming through Bible College, one of my professors encouraged me to volunteer to work in the children's ministry - not with kids who could walk and talk, but with nursery aged infants!  I love babies, don't get me wrong here, but I couldn't do that forever!  In fact, I did it, but I knew my "fit" wasn't there.  It took me about two years to finally admit I really didn't have much passion for the placement.  When I realized my first really "right" placement was when I entered into working with the youth at my church.  Those guys and gals were a handful, challenging me time and time again, but making me a more honest, credible, and deliberate Christian in the process!  They asked me tough questions about why I believed what I believed - making me take a close look at whether I did so because someone told me to believe that way, or because I had come to the place of assurance myself.  They questioned my authenticity, helping me to reveal a side of me I had kept hidden for years - helping me be "genuine".  I had found my fit.

We may need to kind of try something out a couple of times to see if it is our "fit".  I now when I take these pieces out of the box in the process of assembling the furniture I have to lay them in similar piles of pieces, then I hold them up, compare them to the diagram, and then see how they fit when held up to the other piece.  If the holes don't line up, the grooves seem to be in the wrong place, or the illustration looks totally different to how I am holding them, I have to adjust my hold on those pieces.  Sometimes the kindest thing to do for another in the family of God is allow them to be adjusted into the place they finally realize their "perfect fit".  Just sayin!