Find Your Calling in Your SHAPE
“May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.” (Hebrews 13:21 NLT)
Once upon a time, there were some animals that wanted to start a school for animals. They decided the courses would include running, climbing, swimming, and flying. Then they decided that all of the animals should take all of the courses.
That’s where the problem started. The duck was better than his teacher at swimming, but he only made passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. So they made him drop swimming and stay after school to practice running. This caused his web feet to be badly worn, and his grade dropped to average in swimming. But everybody felt less threatened and more comfortable with that — except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but because of so much make-up work in swimming, he caught pneumonia and had to drop out of school. The squirrel showed outstanding ability in climbing, but he was extremely frustrated in flying class because the teacher insisted that he start from the ground up rather than the treetop down. He developed Charlie horses from over-extension, so he only got a “C” in climbing and a “D” in running.
The eagle was the problem student and was disciplined for being a nonconformist. For instance, in climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but he insisted on using his own way to get there. Finally, because he refused to participate in swimming class, he was expelled.
The point is that God has designed specific animals to excel in specific areas, and he doesn’t expect them to do all the other things. When you expect everybody to fit in the same mold, all you’re going to get is frustration, discouragement, mediocrity, and failure. A duck is made to be a duck and not something else.
And you were made to be you. God has given you unique abilities, and he wants you to use them for what he intended for you to use them.
Your abilities are the map to God’s will for your life. It points the direction. When you know what you’re good at, then you can know what God wants you to do with your life.
The Bible says in Hebrews 13:21, “May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him” (NLT).
If God asks you to do something, he always gives you the ability to do it. So how do you decide what you’re supposed to do with your life? What classes should you take in school? Who should you marry? What kind of career should you choose? Just look at your SHAPE. What has God wired you to be and to do? Your SHAPE points you in the right direction.
My abilities match my call. Some people think calling is something you do if you’re going to be a priest or nun or missionary. But every person is called by God. First we’re called to salvation, and second, we’re called to service. You have a calling on your life. You have a vocation. You have a life mission and a life message and a life goal and a life purpose.
How do you know what your calling is? Just look at your SHAPE — your spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences.
Talk It Over
• Based on your SHAPE, what do you think God wants you to do with your life?
• How has trying to excel in an area that does not fit your SHAPE kept you from serving at your best?
by Rick Warren
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