Bible, Body of Christ, Church, CMCs, Cutie Mark Crusaders, devotional, fandom, God, inspirational, Jesus, many parts one body, motivational, My Little Pony, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, New Testament, Old Testament, The Show Stoppers, Twilight Sparkle, Will of God
Inspiration for Today’s Motivational: “The Show Stoppers”
I wouldn’t say I personally have too much in common with young, technicolor, cartoon ponies. But when it comes to trying to figure out the Will of God in my life, call me a Cutie Mark Crusader.
Just like them I feel like I’m constantly searching for where I will fit in “best”. I try things that I hope will lead to some new epiphany for my destiny or purpose in the Body of Christ that don’t end up nearly as well as I hope; just like the CMCs in this episode and others. And just like them…I often end up feeling frustrated and occasionally hopeless.
The worst part of my life for this was back in my college days. I was more independent and free to pursue whatever I felt would allow me to do the most for God. But a lot of the things I tried just didn’t seem to fit. Even if I managed to do decent, there would always be someone there who could do things far more easily than I could. And while I’m not encouraging comparing myself to others, this was the kind of “better” where I could say: “Oh, that’s what someone who is best suited for this ‘looks like’ in the act”. So I was left feeling at odds. Not necessarily that I didn’t fit in anywhere, but that the best thing I could do would be something I didn’t fit in with in the first place. Something that would do good for others but always leave me feeling “awkward”.
I went to a Christian conference around that time, and for today’s motivational, as it ties in a bit to what Twilight Sparkle was trying to tell the CMCs, I’d like to share what I learned from it because I think it’s good advice when trying to figure out how you can work best for the Kingdom of God.
1. “What work are you made for?” This is probably the part more known to Christians in general. Paul made frequent discourses about the members of the Body of Christ (the Church) and how they all worked together for one whole. However, his most poignant discourse was in 1 Corinthians 12: 14-26.
“‘For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.'”
Even though we tend to think of these great missionaries and evangelists as the most effective for the Body of Christ, and while we should strive to venture outside of our “comfort zones” to do more, that doesn’t necessarily mean we are best suited for that kind of work. Twilight cautioned the CMCs to do what they were best at, such as Sweetie Belle being best at singing, Scootaloo best at dancing, and Apple Bloom best at costumes. Trying to do something that they weren’t ideally suited for ended up in disaster, in spite of their enthusiasm and commitment.
Speaking personally, I’m horrible at speaking with strangers face-to-face, but I’m good at writing. I stink at remembering names and faces, but when it comes to details about procedures I’m meticulous and rigorous. I’m more suited to working out technical problems than personal ones. As a result, I should try and turn myself to fit those problems the best; and find a task that I am ideally suited, and even enthusiastic about, to deal with.
2. “How high are you aiming?” This is the other part of the equation that I personally think is more applicable to the problem of venturing outside of comfort zones and that gets more neglected in the overall process. The analogy for both of these concepts is an archer trying to hit a target. The archer can have the best aim in the world, but if they don’t pull back the bowstring far enough they’ll still never hit it. The idea is that even if I am doing something I’m ideal for, it may not be nearly challenging enough. I might be capable of doing something “greater” in the same capacity…or more difficult to attempt so I’d prefer to stay in the easier, quieter surroundings of the familiar. As another has said, “the enemy of something great is something good”.
A good Biblical example of this is in the Old Testament, way back to Abraham. Abraham was by no means a poor man or without means. He was childless, yes, but he still had a pretty good thing going in his native land. He commanded enough servants to be able to engage in battle with leaders of cities, and in terms of being a herdsman he was quite wealthy and powerful…enough to where his own herd alone had to pretty much have the surrounding land to itself. And he probably could have continued to be rather wealthy and well-off in his native land. However, the call of God was to leave his homeland and everything he knew and venture out to lands unknown, with nothing other than God telling him if he did so that he would make him a great nation. And all this while he was already practically waiting to die at his age, was childless, and ended up having to go on waiting for years and years for God to fulfill his promise. Definitely not the most “comfortable” of situations to be in. Yet he persisted and ventured on and, as a result, eventually became the patriarch of Israel and the model of Faith in God producing righteousness.
If I’m good at organizing small events, why not try organizing a larger one? Or if I’m good at ministering to a small group, what not a bigger group or a sermon? If I do good on small-scale local mission trips, how about one to another state or across the border? Trying to “aim higher” in that way might yield surprising revelations about myself as well as more productive labor.
And, as always, contingent on both of these is prayer. Prayer for clarity about what my purpose is, prayer for guidance to what my purpose is as I search for it, and prayer for bravery to leave whatever is “comfortable” to go out and fulfill the Will of God.
Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for all of the talents and gifts you have granted me, whether they be material, physical, mental, or spiritual (name them). As you have blessed me with these gifts, I in turn hand them back to you and place them at your disposal. Please use them and me however you see fit to fulfill your Plan today, and guide me so that I will reach the purpose that you have for my life. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”