The other day I saw a basket. At first glance it seemed to be an ordinary basket. However, a second, closer look showed that was not the case. There was no disputing the fact that this basket had seen better days.
It was not water tight and so would not be able to carry water. But to make matters worse, it was broken and there was a hole in the bottom of the basket. Because of the damage and the hole, the basket was not much good for holding things like buttons, coins or even marbles.
It is understandable how someone looking at this old and rather worn basket might decide that its useful days were long gone. That the time had come to throw it away and get a new one.
But someone had looked at this tattered, worn and perhaps mostly used up basket and had seen something else. They had seen not an end, but a future. Instead of seeing the brokenness, they saw the potential.
Whoever it was had looked beyond the failing to see the possibilities. The gaps in the weave that let water pass through didn’t matter. The hole in the bottom that would let coins, marbles and buttons escape didn’t matter. This basket, with all its faults and short comings was still very capable of holding larger items. Things like rolled up napkins, silver wear or even apples.
There is a job for everyone. No matter our talents or flaws. But we are only going to be truly happy and successful when we labor in that part of God’s garden where the needs match our gifts and talents. Anyone who knows me would readily agree that I belong in the pulpit preaching instead of in the choir singing.
So, if you don’t seem to be prospering in what you are doing then I invite you to consider the possibility that you are doing the wrong thing. Perhaps you are working in the wrong field or on the wrong task.
Ephesians 4:11 offers some insight into God’s plans and God’s gifts. (It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. )(NIV)
That was a lesson even King David, one of if not the best and most beloved Kings of Israel had to learn. He had achieved much, the country was at peace, he was pleased with himself and decided that he would build a house for the Lord God. He thought that God would be pleased, but instead he and was told that was not his task to do; that another would build God’s house.
Instead of asking God’s blessing on what you are doing, ask instead that God would guide and direct you onto the path that leads to where and what God has destined and ordained for you.
John R. Fowler is the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Prosper.