We complain a lot. We do, you know. We complain a lot about things in our lives we have no control over, or even things we can control but choose not to.
One Sunday morning our pastor listed three things we cannot control, because the Lord determined those three things when we were born. We had absolutely no input into them. It was not our choice to make.
Do you have any idea what those three things are that we have no control over? If you think about it, it’s really quite simple. But I’d never thought about it either.
1. We have no control over where we are born. I’d venture to say most of you reading this were born in the United States, as I was.
How often do you think about that, and thank the Lord for where you were born?
You could have been born in a country with food shortages and lack of clean drinking water. Where there is very little infrastructure, sparse electricity; where you may not always know where your next meal is coming from. Where health care is almost non-existent.
You could have been born in a country where there are very few freedoms; where talking openly against the government could literally get you killed. Where practicing your faith could also literally get you killed if you did not believe as the government told you. Where a dictatorship controls your entire way of life.
2. We have no control over the family we were born into.
Many of us come from a loving family, and are fortunate enough to stay close to our family through the years, even when miles separate us.
But many others are not that fortunate. Many come from broken homes, in which one parent doesn’t really seem to care about their children and hardly ever, or never, see them.
Many have families who want nothing to do with each other, or who literally spend time putting down other family members because none of them want to get along with each other.
Many have families who have ostracized them because they don’t agree with their choices, their lifestyle, their chosen faith, or even their politics.
But that’s the family you were given. You can’t change it.
3. We have no control over what we look like, how tall/short we are, our hair/eye color (well, the hair we can do something about later in in life), our skin color, our body shape and size, and its physical characteristics.
Most of us at one or more times in our life want to change something about how we look because we think it’ll make us happier, more acceptable to others, more attractive, and bring us more luck in finding a spouse, a better job, even.
Now there’s certainly nothing wrong with having our teeth straightened, our hair colored, exercising to keep our bodies in shape. But many people decide they want to drastically change how they look because they just don’t like themselves the way they are, and they’re sure if they make those changes, maybe even try to look like someone else even, they’ll be happy.
But God determined these three things for a reason when He individually created each one of us and determined our life by giving us each these three distinct elements. No one else has exactly those same three elements. Now you and your siblings usually share the first two, but the third, well, unless you’re identical twins, you’re not completely sharing the third one. And even identical twins have a few characteristics that make one just a bit different from the other.
We are all created as individuals, unique individuals. There is no one else exactly like us in this world, and there never will be. Not ever. When we were created, that particular mold was broken, never to be used again.
I am also adding a fourth thing we have no control over, and that is our talent. We all have a special talent; a gift that we were given that is in no way exactly like anyone else’s. Yes, we can learn things like music, writing, or one of the trades that are so important to our every day life. But if we don’t have a special talent, a gift, for that particular thing, we won’t excel in it.
Now we can’t all be a famous scientist like Albert Einstein, a master artist like da Vinci, a master composer like Beethoven, a singer like Barbra Streisand, or a successful writer like Stephen King. They all have a master talent. But each and every one of us is talented in some way.
We each have a gift for something, although we may not know what, may have not yet discovered it. I’ve always wanted to be able to draw. But that is certainly not my gift! As much as I’d like to have that talent, it’s not there. And it’s not something I can really learn, although I’ve tried and tried. But I can write, and I think I’m fairly good at it. And I can use my words to draw “pictures” in other people’s minds.
The surgeons who will be operating on my husband this week have a unique gift for cardiac surgery. They are the best in their field in our area. They may not be famous, but we’re sure glad they are using their gift in the way God intended.
What about you? What is your unique gift? Have you discovered it yet? And if so, are you working to develop it? Because that gift is also specific to you. No two musicians sing or write music in the same way. No two writers have the same exact style. And no two physicians have exactly the same talent, even in the same field.
Your gift is very identical to you, and you alone. Find it. Develop it. And use it in the unique way it was intended for you.
Because you are unique. There is only one of you born where you were born to the parents you had, with the same physical characteristics and the same special talent that’s your special gift.
Celebrate who you are! There’s only one you!