“Mom, do you think I should be a teacher or a babysitter when I grow up?”
She asks me as if she needs to decide all the life plans and pathways of her future right here in this minute.
I ask this eight-year-old what she thinks about it all and she tells me how much she loves little kids and babies, and I know it’s true.
While I’m thinking of all her potential and all the possibilities, though, she’s narrowing it down to two choices. A or B?
Then my next girl chimes in. “Mom, do you think I should be a teacher or a magician?”
Again I ask what she thinks, and she’s decided definitely, 100%, no doubt about it, her future career will start with a course at the magician’s school of tricks and entertainment.
So, I bend down low, cradle those chins in my hands and one at a time I tell them so they’ll hopefully understand what I’m saying deep down in the parts of their soul that they’ll only remember later when it really counts:
God made you so special, so unique, so gifted in amazing ways. There are many possibilities for you, so much hope. Your job is to work hard now and we’ll pray and discover what He wants you to do then.
That’s their job…To practice the piano and dance, to study in school and make their art projects when they feel inspired. To write away creating stories on the computer and telling jokes and walking on stages unafraid. To say their memory verses and listen to God’s Word and sing and sing and sing. To hold the hands of little ones and teach their little sister letters and sounds and how to count just a little bit higher. To cheer for friends and to serve those in need.
This is how they grow in the gifts God has given them. This is how they make themselves ready and available for His purposes.
That’s their job.
I have my own and I look to King David as a reminder.
Knowing all that God had planned for his son, knowing that Solomon was called by God to build the holy temple, David stockpiled immense resources to give him a head start. He amassed gold, silver, iron, bronze, timber and stone and trained carpenters, stonecutters, masons, and artisans for service on the temple project (1 Chronicles 22).
And then he gave it all to his son and blessed his ministry.
My part in this was to put down the enemies, subdue the land to God and his people; your part is to give yourselves, heart and soul, to praying to your God. So get moving—build the sacred house of worship to God!
1 Chronicles 22:18.
Sometimes we get so focused on our own careers and futures and ministries, what we need from others, what we need to do ourselves. Our lives can become day after day pursuits of our own personal successes.
But God creates this perpetual ministry for us—to give and give again into the lives of others.
I look at my daughters and I wonder, “What’s my part?”
David’s job was to fight wars and conquer enemies so his son could reign in peace. He gathered supplies and did everything to make the temple project possible short of laying the gold bricks himself.
I’m no warrior king and I certainly don’t have some vault stocked with precious metals and gems.
But I can do my part to help them discover and develop those unique gifts that could make them a wonderful teacher or (even perhaps) a funny magician. I can teach them about God and truth, kindness, service, and Scripture. I can spend time on my knees for them, for now and for their future. I can let them know they are loved.
We can do this for others, for our children, for the teens in our churches and the young moms in the next pew over on Sunday morning who look just a little tired after getting so many little people ready for church service.
We reach back in ministry, bending low to give helping hands and encouraging words to those just starting out, the discouraged, the uncertain, the teachable, the wide-eyed and hopeful.
We open a world wide open to students and pray for our pastors, pray for missionaries, pray for our ministry leaders.
We take time to say thank you to those who rock babies in the nursery and stock the shelves in the food pantry.
We all, after all, have a part. No one ministers to this world alone or on their own merit or in their own strength. It’s always about God at work, and He works through us, through the giving and blessing of others.
Whose ministry can you bless today?
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in November 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King