Have you ever watched a movie that, in no way, is meant to convey a spiritual message, but God hits you over the head with one anyway? That happened to me yesterday.
My 3-year-old wanted to watch her Tinkerbell movie yesterday morning while I did laundry, so to occupy her, I popped the DVD in. As I went about the business of laundry, Tinkerbell played in the background. As I stopped for a break, something about this movie caught my attention. See, as a new fairy comes to be (according to Disney), he or she attends a ceremony where their specific fairy gifting is revealed to them. There are water fairies, wind fairies, animal fairies and more. In this ceremony, the young fairy stands in a circle surrounded by the symbol of each of the fairy giftings. The young fairy, Bell, stands and surveys all of the symbols around her. After a time, a magical mallet finds its way to Bell as she discovers her gifting as a Tinker fairy, hence the name Tinkerbell.
But Tinkerbell quickly loses focus of her gifting, her purpose. She’s caught up in all of the “great” things the other fairies are gifted with and what they get to do. So much so that she tries to change her fairy gifting to no avail. After much frustration and many mistakes, Tinkerbell begrudgingly works within her gifting.
This past month or so at church, our series has been “Who Are You?”. Because when you know who you are, you know what to do. As I watched Tinkerbell, I couldn’t help but think she had it easier than a lot of us. She was told early in life what her calling was, so doing it should have come naturally. But she struggled with it like so many of us do.
Tinkerbell was so wrapped up envying what everyone else could do, that she completely lost focus of the special, unique and necessary gift that she had. How often do we do that? We see that person that sings, that person that plays an instrument, that person that speaks or teaches, that person that counsels…the list goes on and on…and we focus more on what we can’t do than what God made us to do. We struggle to “fit” in areas that God didn’t make us for, then find ourselves frustrated when we aren’t successful. We wonder why we don’t feel fulfilled, yet try to fill places that aren’t meant for us. And maybe we finally, begrudgingly fall into a place that utilizes our gift.
And then it happens. In the midst of our poor attitudes and unwillingness to embrace who we are, God allows something to happen that causes us to realize our purpose. Tinkerbell had that moment. Everything was falling apart. Spring was not going to come, but Tinkerbell was determined that she could use her unique and necessary gift to save Spring. And she did. And she loved it.
When we not only realize our purpose, but fully embrace it, God can use us greatly. When we realize that our gift, while maybe not the one in the spotlight most often, is unique and necessary, our hearts serve without reservation. When each of us individually embraces who we are and acts on that, we can change our church. We can change our community. We can change the world.
Tinkerbell got to save spring. We get to save souls. Know who you are, so you know what to do. Then DO it.