Robert Fulghum in All I Really Need To Know tells about a jam he got himself into when a stranded motorist asked him if he had jumper cables.
â€œYeah, sure, I got jumper cables,â€ Fulghum said.
Fulgum explains his response: â€œMen are suppose to know about jumper cables. Itâ€™s suppose to be in the genetic code, right? Besides, this guy only asked me if I had jumper cables. He didnâ€™t ask me if I knew how to use them. I thought by the way he asked he knew what he was doing.â€
So Fulghum takes his jumper cables and he and this guy, talking in car-repair speak like real men do, look under the hood of the manâ€™s rig to find no battery.
â€œHell,â€ Fulghum said. â€œThereâ€™s your problem right there. Somebody stole your battery.â€
â€œDang,â€ the other man said.
Whereupon his nice, sweet wife entered the conversation. â€œThe battery,â€ she said, â€œis under the back seat.â€
â€œOh,â€ the two men said.
So they unhooked the back seat. And, as Fulghum tells it, â€œSure enough, there it was. A battery. Right there. Just asking for jumper cables to be laid on it.â€
What followed is pretty much what followed when a stranded neighbor called on me to get her car started. I wonâ€™t go into all the details of what happened when I gallantly came to her aid with my jumper cables â€“ other than to say the mechanic who ended up coming to both her and my aid amused his customers with the skeletal remains of her battery on display at his service station.
When Dr. Jeff Greenway was inaugurated president of the seminary I attended, a member of the seminaryâ€™s board of trustees pulled him aside, and said,â€ Jeff, there are two great days in a personâ€™s life â€“ the day you were born, and the day you discover what you were born for. You were born for this.â€
Have you discovered what you were born for? I have, and while it was not for repairing things, it was for something.
Elizabeth Oâ€™Connor put it this way about our Creatorâ€™s purpose for our lives: â€œWe ask to know the will of God without guessing his will is written into our very beings. We perceive that will when we discern our gifts.â€
God has given each one of us a real knack for something. And to exercise it for the benefit of others in the name of Godâ€™s love is to actualize what we were born for.
Are you able to perform wonders with your hands, making things, mending things, building things, fixing things? Then use your hands â€“ use them to the glory of God.Â
Do you have the ability to put words together on paper in a way that enriches the reader?Â Then write â€“ write to the glory of God.
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Do you have the ability to sing â€“ not just in the shower to the thrill of an audience of one but to the inspiration of others? Then sing â€“ sing to the glory of God.
Do you have the ability to motivate people to pursue a life-enhancing goal?Â Then lead â€“ lead to the glory of God.
Does listening come easy for you? Do you have a great capacity for empathy, the ability to grasp what a person is going through? Then use these relational skills â€“ use them to the glory of God.
Are you a good storyteller? Do you have a way of telling a story that inspires? Then tell stories â€“ tell
them to the glory of God.
The point is, the key to the mystery of what we were born for is the discernment and employment of our God-given talents.
Itâ€™s what makes life meaningful.