I Think I Can, I Think I Can
There are little toy trains all over my house. As I write now, there is one on the TV stand (hauling another train), one under the couch and one hiding ever so sneakily in the narrow ally between the cabinet and refrigerator.
It is easy to see that our sons really like their trains. Even toys that are not trains become them as they’re lined up straight on the carpeted floor.
When our oldest sends them swooshing down the track, I watch him study the motion and can tell his imagination is spinning like their shiny wheels. He smiles, and he’s in his happy place.
The Bible study I’m taking part in now talks about our spiritual gifts, which can often be identified and connected with enjoyable experiences in early childhood.
One of the study questions prompts you to ask someone close to you how they’ve observed you in your gifting “sweet spot,” so I asked my husband before bed last night.
It was almost midnight, and he held out on falling asleep long enough to say enough to finish the project and remind me I am serving a purpose even if I don’t always see it. I felt humbled and helped by each word; a midnight snack.
I think of spiritual gifts and fruits of the spirit and how i can’t just cherry pick the ones I want to fill up on each day. I realize they are all reflections of His Holy Spirit and must be put on with great care and honor.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
Ouch, some of those don’t always seem to fit. Yet, I must want to put them on, so I can run after His lead.
We learn about using our unique spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, followed closely by The Love Chapter, which clarifies what must fuel our intentions to use these gifts. Love.
Not Facebook Likes or followers or even that encouragement before bed. It is love: love for our Father and for His Kingdom.
I think of our sons and their trains and how I’ve read and reread about The Little Engine That Could. I notice the “I think I can” mentaility and how it can be helpful in encouraging them to try and to do.
Then I think of how many times they fall or stub a toe or must be corrected after climbing to stand on a table. I watch my youngest turn our kitchen chairs into his jungle gym, and even though I’d rather pad the room, I want him to learn to move on his own, to explore. He grins, and he falls and pulls himself back up.
I guess that is the part where this post must slow down.
As I compare my daily drive with our sons and their toy train adventures, do I think I can? Is it me who wants to take the controls on my own, or do I need to stop and listen for instructions first? If I fall or stub my toe, do I truly believe I’ll be okay? Will I try again?
1 Corinthians 12:7 says:
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”
These gifts, abilities, joys are given by our great God to make Himself known and tell His love story, using every single unique one of us. I need to seek His direction earnestly as my guide toward being the best I can be. His counsel is not just for my profit, but for the profit of all.
As I navigate my gifts, my motives, my purpose, there are times when I think I can get where I need to be going by myself, only to fall. I may try to be bold and be brave and be “useful,” but without guidance from our God, I am only making circles on a track, spinning my wheels.
I am thankful to know that whatever is needed – He can. He is in control, and I am always within His reach.
“I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39