It’s a moment every parent lives for.
Sure, we all would love to see our kid sink that title-winning shot, claim the top role in the school play and then kill it on stage, take first chair in an orchestra, dream up the prize-winning science project, rock out on stage or give the valedictorian speech at graduation.
But most parents also understand their child may never be the one to get the ovation and recognition for such one-off, transient achievements.
Rather, the moment the parent is after – whether they know it or not – is to stand off to the side, in the background, and watch their child soar, as they realize how they fit.
Now, mind you, this has nothing at all to do with fitting in. That phenomenon could be a topic for an entirely different discussion, and often doesn’t end all that well.
This is about fit: The moment a child understands and embraces their role on a team, their part in the play or in a band or on a group project, and begins to comprehend that their differences don’t make them less, but rather help to enrich the whole.
We know this innately, whether we embrace it consciously. It’s what civilization is built upon. While a society may celebrate athletes, musicians, rock stars, actors, politicians, business leaders and academics, we also understand the need for those skilled in other areas, essential to the life we all live.
If you disagree, ask yourself: How appreciative are you when the light turns on in your refrigerator, as you reach for a cold drink? While we may treat it like magic or our birthright as modern Americans, it isn’t happenstance. A great number of people smarter than you in any number of fields related to electricity generation and distribution and home construction, not to mention manufacturing and engineering, assembled a system and products to convert some fuel into the electricity that chills those beverages.
It is also a foundational principle of the Kingdom of God.
God has given us all our own quirks, our own foibles, our own strengths, and, yes, our own weaknesses.
The Bible tells us some are called to preach and teach. But the Kingdom of God is not built by pastors in the pulpit.
As our sister, Alma Ybarra, shared with us this past Sunday, God needs all of us – each of us – to accomplish His work here on this Earth.
And what is His work? Jesus tells us He was called to seek and to save those who were lost. He told His followers, His friends, His disciples, go into all the world, and then make new disciples – not of their teachings or for their ministries, but to raise up and build up new and more followers of Jesus, people who will each contribute their own diverse contributions to the work.
In short, after calling the disciples to be with Him, Jesus instructed them and molded them to be like Him, and then, He sent them out to do what He did.
That cycle, that vision, did not die with the Twelve Apostles + Paul. It continues today, everyday, as the Holy Spirit works through each of us to go into our communities, in our worlds, to raise up Christ and draw people to Him – and then help them to discover the richness of all that God offers in discipleship.
As Alma shared, Jesus did great things to help people, heal people and save them – and He can use you to do the same things Jesus did. None of us can do everything. But all of us can do something.
Jesus is calling you to find your place in His Kingdom.
So today, we ask you to examine yourself and ponder: What is Christ calling you to do? Then, know He has prepared you and is equipping you for that task, whatever it may be.
Your selfless acts and devotion to the work of the Master can and will change lives.
Train, work and rest secure in the knowledge that God’s got you and He will never leave you. Through Christ, we can – and will – do all things, together.