On Being a Shovel

toolsLast night we opened a new box of paper towels (the kind that come in a box instead of a roll). My husband tried a different brand than we usually buy. All paper towels are not created equal! These towels do not absorb. They feel plastic-like, rough, and are a bit shiny, too. They are about the same size and come in a box, but they sadly disappointed me. They just pretended to be something they are not.

Reflecting on yesterday’s reading of I Timothy chapters 3 and 4, and delving into chapters 5 and 6 today, I began to think about our own lives and how often we pretend to be something we are not (or even strive to be something we are not). I thought about the times I wanted to be a hammer when God made me a shovel. I tried to be a hammer…but I was not an effective one and looked rather silly even trying to pass myself off as one.

I thought about a book I read a few years ago by Rick Warren called The Purpose Driven Life. In that book he diggingwrote about the SHAPE God made each of us. The acronym stands for Spiritual gifts, heart (passion), abilities, personality, and experiences. No two of us have the exact same SHAPE. Yet, how often do you find yourself trying to fit yourself (a square peg) into a round hole? Today, in I Timothy 6:6, I read–“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” I once again asked myself if I was content with the SHAPE God had given me, and if I was using that SHAPE to bring Him glory.

I want to be absorbent. I want to be absorbed in His word and in teaching it and in not neglecting my spiritual gift (as Paul talks about in I Timothy 4:7-15). For that to happen, I have to be the SHAPE — be the tool–God made me to be.  Finding contentment in being a shovel …

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2 thoughts on “On Being a Shovel

  1. Here’s a “shovel story” that doesn’t have much to do with your thoughts above, but maybe it’ll make you smile. 🙂

    The Ukrainian word for shovel is “lopata.” At ESL camp one summer lopata became the trigger for laughter. One of the participants didn’t understand an English word that was used, so he quietly asked the guy next to him what the word meant, and his neighbor misunderstood or was messing with him and very matter-of-factly told him “lopata.” Enough other people heard him and knew it was wrong, but it was so funny that the word lopata just kept coming up again and again. It got to the point that someone would just randomly say “lopata” and the whole group would start laughing!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! -Katie

  2. Pingback: Delana’s World « The Education Cafe

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