Just the Sheep of His Hand
First of all, it's enlarged my understanding of calling. Tom Vicks, writing on Steve James' blog, says it best: "Jesus died on a tree for me. With blood paid for my life, maybe Jesus would like me to use talents he wrote out for me before the beginning of time." Over the years, I've learned that who God says I am and what he wants for me give purpose and meaning and protect me from sowing seed (talents and gifts) in a scattered way that won't produce blessing. To arrive there, though, I've needed to own all those gifts and talents. I've had to lay down what I thought God, my parents, and my husband expected of me. I've had to answer Jesus' question: "What do you want…?" (John 1:38) with equal directness and sincerity.
Second, knowing how God sees me has helped me make peace with the multiplicity of gifts I've been given. I am his workmanship, created to do good works prepared in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:10). Moving deeper into God's purpose for me has freed me from the desperate striving of "either/or" work options—ministry or private sector, worship leader or media director, MBA or MDiv—and the panic of getting "it" wrong. His purpose for me shines broad and deep, more multi-faceted than any I could ever have dreamed up, as multi-faceted as the gifts he's given me. There is no "it" for me to get wrong, just a relationship with my Maker to pursue.
Third, when I sit still and listen, my Shepherd picks me up and, holding me close, brushes the twigs and brambles out of my curls, rubs sweet oil over my bruises and scrapes. He whispers to me then gently sets me down in a green pasture where I can enjoy the peace that comes with a focused spirit and heart. "Come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our God and Maker," we sang in Sunday morning service during that first month of wrestling with Marion's question. "For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand/ just the sheep of his hand" (lyrics by Dave Doherty).