In a recent episode of a popular TV reality show, the title character had a major blowout with one of her closest friends. The root cause of the blowout had to do with the title character’s very strong personality traits of planning and organization that often led her to mistreat those around her. The result of the blowout was the friend walking off the show and out of the lead character’s life. It was heart wrenching, but not nearly as heart wrenching as the title character’s response. She said (and I’m paraphrasing), “As difficult as all of this has been, oddly, I still love the organization and planning.”
WOW! This woman just lost (or at least significantly damaged) a relationship with a living, breathing person who has been an integral part of her life for years. And yet… the quirk, the thing about her that caused the damage to the relationship, was STILL a joy to her. It still brought her comfort even though it was causing loved ones to leave her. Yikes! Wasn’t she missing the most important thing?
There were two things that came to mind when I watched this. First, I was convicted about my own organization and planning quirks. (Stop laughing!) Through the years I have earned from friends and co-workers several initials that I am proud : OC (obsessive compulsive), AR (anal-retentive) and, most recently CF (control-freak). I could definitely identify with that sense of joy that the TV personality spoke of when I color-code, apply the Incident Command System to every event I plan, and schedule every moment of a vacation to the nth detail. I LOVE THAT STUFF! And I believe it is a gift God has given me to use. BUT, do I, like this reality TV star, let that gift get in the way of what is really important?
The second thing that came to mind was the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible. (Luke 10:38-42) Martha had the gift of hospitality and it was that gift that brought Jesus into her home one afternoon. When He got there, Martha went into action. She got the meal ready, made sure the table was set, put the guest soap out, etc., etc. Meanwhile, where’s her sister Mary? She’s sitting in the living room, on the floor, listening to Jesus. Just sitting there! Finally tired of doing all the work herself, Martha decides to take care of business. “Lord, would you tell my sister to get off her- uh, the floor, and do something to help me? I’m killing myself in here!” (my paraphrase) Jesus does not exactly respond the way Martha expects Him to. He says, “Martha, there’s only one thing that matters, and Mary’s the one who is doing it – not you.” Oops! (Come on now… haven’t you prayed a prayer like Martha’s at least once in your life?)
So did Jesus mean that expressing the gift God has given me doesn’t matter? No. That’s not what He was saying to Martha. God used Martha’s gift to bring Jesus quite literally into the lives of Mary and their brother Lazarus. Martha was definitely “BN DA GLV.” But once Jesus was there, Martha took God’s fingers out of that glove and inserted her own. She got caught up in expressing her gift and didn’t know how or when to turn it off. Bringing others to Jesus, listening to Him, having a relationship with Him, being in His presence, and bringing Him glory… that’s the whole reason God wants us to B DA GLV! Martha was at the height of experiencing that- Jesus, the Son of God, is sitting right in her living room – and she missed it!
Maybe it’s a little hard to relate to Martha’s story. After all we don’t have Jesus walking through our towns stopping by for dinner. And if we did, we certainly wouldn’t be worried about getting dinner ready! Think again. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit of God living IN OUR HEARTS! And how often do we miss Him? If we want to truly be God’s “glove” we have the Holy Spirit ready, willing and able to fill us and move us as He pleases. But when we forget that, or when we try to use our gifts to accomplish our own agendas we are missing out on what is really important. We are missing the opportunity to bring glory to God. We are missing the opportunity to deepen our relationship with Him, sit at His feet, and wait for His leading and direction in our lives. And, we are missing the joy of blessing those He places in our path.
I know I need to take my own fingers out of His glove every day… sometimes every hour! What about you? Whose fingers are in God’s glove in your life?