From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. – Ephesians 4:16
I don’t have the best body. No, I’m not talking about the fact that Elle McPherson and I have little in common. Although that’s true (at least as far as surface appearances would foretell), my body just has a habit of not being able to do all the things I want it too. It started when I was younger, the weak ankles that I inherited from my grandmother would result in Ace bandage wraps more often than I care to admit. And although running miles upon miles has caused my ankles to strengthen, my muscles, ligaments, and joints still have their challenges. A large part of this is because I internalize things and my body pays the cost. It’s not the worse thing in the world; after all when my body needs a break it means the rest of me slows down too, but given the choice, I’d rather everything function at a little more optimal level.
It is noteworthy perhaps, that there are parts of my body that function extremely well. My heart for instance is in tip-top shape (again – miles of running.) But my heart, although a muscle can’t do the job that my shoulder muscle is assigned when my shoulder muscle decides to spasm. They are of the same nature, yet have very different roles, and unfortunately, I can’t supplant the job of one for the task of another.
Its the same way in the Church. The job that one person has been given can’t be done by someone else. We each must complete the task, whether seemingly menial or significant that God calls us to do recognizing that each task, when a godly task, is significant because of its heavenly origin. We sometimes want to argue with our role – we fear God has given us too much or too little, or He’s asked us to do something for which we are ill-equipped. None of this matters. Our job is to complete our function because without it, the rest of the Body can’t complete theirs.
And when we do that we may feel that God has called us to do too much and feel that we will not have the wherewithal to accomplish His mission. The words of another may comfort us. “I’d rather burn out than rust out” said James Young Ferguson. And he’s right. Burning out is better because our job is to be a light and if we’re burning, we’re definitely shinning. The other thing to remember is this – things only gather rust when they aren’t being used. If we’re being used, rust isn’t a concern, for our constant service will prevent the stagnation that allows rust to flourish.
God’s called us to do things for His kingdom. Are we?