When people say, “It takes all kinds,” that’s no joke. For things to work properly and efficiently, requires many hands. Each of us depends on a variety of other humans with unique skills and abilities, everyday. The truth is, apart from each other, we are nothing (like me without coffee some mornings!).
Life here on earth is simple, yet multifaceted. We are one, but many. Even within the basics, like shelter, food, clothing…there is a dependence on those with more knowledge in that specific realm. Not just knowledge, but also experience. And hopefully, wisdom.
I wake up in the morning with a roof over my head, a dark room to stumble through, respite from the noisy world, because of people who have what it takes to build houses. I can enjoy my daily bowl of steel cut oats, apple slices, and so on, thankfully, because there are people who grow, cultivate, distribute and sell these items that I and my family, and yours, need for sustenance. Get the picture?
Romans 12:4 depicts this dependence on one another in the same way a body functions – one body, with many members…all with different purposes. And Paul goes on to tell us that we have gifts that differ, “let us use them.” He sets a standard of exellence for us to follow, for the best possible use of our gifts. “With zeal.” “With cheerfulness.”
As with our human bodies, each part, each “member” has a useful role to play. Each person has value. Every skill is needed for the whole to work as it was intended and for all to benefit.
Ironically, I was thinking about my car while driving this morning. And my brother-in-law. He’s a mechanic, and has been his whole adult life. Some might consider that a low-on-the-totem-pole job (I’m sure he’s made to feel that way sometimes). It’s dirty, hard work that we take for granted. But for those who have a passion for the way engines work and love the intrigue of diagnosing and fixing a problem when things go wrong…this is a terrific job.
We shake our heads and say, “That’s not for me.” Right on, it’s not. That job is for them, the ones who have been given that task, “according to the grace given.” My brother-in-law has been given grace to perform the role of car mechanic, as if he’s serving the Lord, but also as a member of one body. And the rest of us have our own assignment, our own passions, and talents, that the Lord has given us to serve others with.
Each of us has a role to play, but with locked arms on the stage of life, each depending on the next, all serving this one body that we collectively make up.
And it makes me realize that I so appreciate, yet fail to show it, the folks that we’ve decided are “behind the scenes.”
The car mechanics. The retail clerks. The chefs. Janitors. Truck drivers. Pilots. Think about this…the bakers, construction workers, trash collectors. The pastors. Farmers Mothers. And so many, many more.
If your child grows up and wants to go to work in a field that seems to you…a little less than what you’d hoped for, stop. Rethink it. Recognize the value in that role, that member, that human. Your child is vital to this body. This body needs the skills that your child possesses and will be lacking without.
So a big shout-out, with genuine gratitude, to ALL of the members of this beautiful body of humanity.
It takes all kinds.