Series: Always Revelant: God is
Ephesians 4:4-8 MSG
Pretty much as long as I can remember people have been telling me to tone it down…don’t be dramatic or in today’s new vocabulary, don’t be extra.
Even when I was small I was told to stop being so dramatic or ‘extra’.
I love that new word for being dramatic. Do you know why?
It’s because in the late 1950’s when children were supposed to be seen and not heard, that went WAY against the grain of who God made me to be!
Of course I didn’t know that until I took my first Speech class in Junior High School.
All…I mean ALL of my elementary school grade cards said the same thing. “Deborah is a good student but she talks way too much. And she can be very dramatic.”
They were saying I have too many words and too much to say with those words.
They wanted me to bottle it all up and keep it inside. Didn’t they know if I did that, I would explode? I’m an extrovert being told not to be EXTRA.
By the time I had a daughter in the late 1970’s I was determined that nobody would tell her to quit talking. Nobody.
But then when I got her grade cards she had all A’s and the comments focused on her desire for perfection. Okay so it didn’t take long for me to figure out she’s my opposite.
She’s an introvert. She’s a straight A kind of person. She was valedictorian of her High school graduating class. She double majored in Music (Voice and Piano) in College and she didn’t miss a beat with her desire for perfection.
Never once did any teacher tell me she talks too much. She plays it by the book.
I didn’t tell her to play it by the book…that’s just who she is.
Well, by the time I (finally) got to junior high school, I had a class where we got up front and we were expected to be Extra. We were even expected to be Extraordinary. My dad helped me to step up to the plate and hit a home run.
Then in high school I continued to take Speech Classes AND they had Drama Class! Whoa…I mean whoa.
I was finally in my element.
Not only was I expected to be Extra and even Extraordinary, I was expected to be loud.
Nobody shushed me.
No one told me I was being too EXTRA.
As a matter of fact, after being told for years to tone it down I was told to ramp it up and to turn up the volume.
The only reason I struggled was because I had been told when I was younger (in elementary school) to tone it way down. By the time I got to high school those tapes were etched in my memory banks and I had to try to re-write my rules.
I struggled with it but I tried to do just that.
Ephesians 4:4-8 tells us, “You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness. But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is: He climbed the high mountain, He captured the enemy and seized the plunder, He handed it all out in gifts to the people.”
BE who God created you to BE. If you’re called to be extra, be extra dramatic. If you’re called to be precise…be precise.
I majored in Speech Communication in college and at the University of Missouri, Columbia the competition was pretty fierce. I could not be too extra.
My professors encouraged me to “let go”.
I was told to “own the room”.
I had to be extra in order to survive the competition.
Later in life God called me to go to Seminary. I started graduate school when I was 54 years old. Being extra took on new meaning.
Preaching class was not easy for me because we had a set format we were supposed to follow. I did okay but once again I was trying to live by the rules.
Looking back I now know I should have ignored the rules. I should have taken the stage by storm. I should have fought to be so extra no one else could catch me. I knew I could do that, but I held back. I was told to conform and I followed the instructions.
I don’t do that anymore.
Post Seminary I had to learn to listen to God and speak what God gave me. I had to learn once again that God made me to be extra and I need to throw the outline out the window. I need to stop conforming to the rules the church outlined.
Fortunately, God’s not finished with me yet.
God is teaching me to listen ever so closely so that I will be unconventional beyond measure.
God wants me to be who I was created to be. Extra and all.
That’s exactly what God wants for you as well.
Whether you are EXTRA or a sweet soul who loves precision, God wants you to BE who He created you to BE.
After all, God doesn’t make mistakes. God doesn’t make junk. God created you for a purpose; your purpose.
Surrender to that purpose.
Today’s Spiritual Practice: YOUR Purpose
Write a brief synopsis of who God created you to be. Ask God to give you ONE assignment.
In God, Deborah