For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
- Psalm 139:13-18
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
- Matthew 25:14-15
“Da Vinci painted one Mona Lisa. Beethoven composed one Fifth Symphony. And God made one version of you. He custom designed you for a one-of-a-kind assignment. Mine like a gold digger the unique-to-you nuggets from your life …
“Look at you. Your uncanny ease with numbers. Your quenchless curiosity about chemistry. Others stare at blueprints and yawn; you read them and drool. ‘I was made to do this,’ you say.
“Our Maker gives assignments to people, to each according to each one’s unique ability. As he calls, he equips. Look back over your life. What have you consistently done well? What have you loved to do? Stand at the intersection of your affections and successes and find your uniqueness.”
- Max Lucado, Cure for the Common Life
From my junior year of high school through completing graduate school with a master’s degree, the second paragraph of the quote above was me. Uncanny how something might fit so perfectly. I loved numbers; I still do. I had a quenchless curiosity about chemistry; I still like the topic and drool when something mundane in life touches upon the topic. And, I loved studying blueprints; that I continued to do, off and on, for my entire career.
But sometimes, there is a third intersection (from Lucado’s last paragraph in the quote). That is one of opportunity. I went into the Army. I managed construction projects. I fell in love with that, too. Then, upon getting out of the military, my options to return to chemical engineering were bleak, and I chose a construction related job, which became an environmental job, which became a maintenance job, which became a job to instruct maintenance people. All moves that others forced upon me. And my opportunities became less each time. Yet, my passion for writing was part of each of the jobs that I had. Then, opportunity intersected both affection and success.
In Psalm 139, King David speaks of being uniquely made. He is not just speaking of himself. Each of us has unique skills, unique knowledge, unique physical attributes, and unique passions.
You may think that you are simply ordinary, but you are not. Note that Jesus says in the parable that each servant was given according to his ability. You may think that you are a failure, but you may instead be in a holding pattern for yet another intersection. Instead of the corner of affection and success, you may be approaching the intersection of your great uniqueness and God’s will for your life.
You may think that you missed that moment. You may think that you took a side road and got lost and missed that intersection, but then you get to Heaven and you are ushered into a great ballroom and you see hundreds, no, thousands of familiar faces. They are the faces of those to whom you showed kindness, those that would not be in Heaven themselves if you had not shown them a touch of God’s Grace and Mercy. You showed them that Christians love other people. You see. Because you were you, you did not even realize you were doing God’s will. It became part of you.
Max Lucado started the quote above with da Vinci only painting one Mona Lisa. Although many people have sung a song by the same name, I can only seem to hear it in my mind as sung by Nat King Cole.
“Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art?”
- Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, Mona Lisa
Beware of being nothing more than a cold and lonely, lovely work of art. God made you unique for a unique purpose.
Go out. Love one another. And trust and believe in Jesus.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.