My friend Jen wrote a most interesting post the other day. While using a special demitasse teaspoon that morning, it struck her that among some other things, spoons are especially analogous to individual Christians.
Here is the small but relatively comprehensive list that Jen came up with:
- “Each one is suited to its purpose. You wouldn’t use a serving spoon to stir your tea or a demitasse spoon to serve mashed potatoes. While some spoons can be used for multiple things, none of them are suitable for every spoon’s task.
- Some are fancier than others, but even the simplest ones get the job done. Sometimes it’s preferable to use fancier spoons (for formal dinners and what-not), but sometimes it’s actually preferable to use the simpler ones (large, casual get-togethers, picnics, etc.). There will always be other people more gifted at something than you are. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the abilities you’ve been given, though.
- Spoons must be clean to be useful. You don’t use dirty spoons (at least I HOPE you don’t!). Similarly, our lives must be kept “clean” so that we are ready for service.
- You sometimes need more than one spoon to get a job done. Just as you would use different spoons to measure ingredients, stir a recipe, and serve a dish, there are often many different people needed to accomplish a task. All are equally important even though the “guests” may only see the serving spoon.
- Spoons don’t stir by themselves; their owner has to USE them. Similarly, we are all instruments in our Maker’s hands, accomplishing His purposes with our gifts.
- Spoons can only dish out what they’ve been immersed into. You don’t dip a spoon into chicken broth and expect to pull out banana pudding. Likewise, we must immerse ourselves in the Word if we want to be able to “dish it out” when it is needed for the nourishment of others.”
Ever the creative and interactive type, Jen could not resist asking her readers to think about what kind of spoon we might be. My answer was not exactly well thought out, but this was it:
“Not having lived very long, I am not entirely sure if I can yet know what kind of spoon I am. You could say God still has me in the mold, or on the anvil, so to speak. But I will at least tell you what first popped into my head.
The plastic spork appears to be multifunctional, but ultimately fails in both endeavors and, as might be expected, it breaks easily.
As I look at my life and all the myriad of things I have been interested in and dabbled in, it is clear I have made efforts to learn and do too many different things without spending enough time on any particular one. I have become like the man who got on his horse and rode off madly in every direction.
Like the spork, I have tried to be good at two things at once and ended up no good at either.”
Perhaps I overstated it a bit; no doubt from the clouded magnifying glass of self-examination, my perspective has made too much of some things and missed others altogether. Still, that was my immediate reaction to the question and I suspect I would do well to think about it.
Not that it hasn’t crossed my mind before; the minute I get any free time, it’s “Which instrument should I practice? Should I draw or do some calligraphy? Should I finish that book or work on the cross-stitch for mom?” Et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum ad nauseam. At that point I am often so overwhelmed with options that just thinking about them is tiring; too often, nothing is chosen and time is wasted. What good is it to be in the middle of all these little projects when none are completed? And all this without a husband, children, or even my own home to care for. I really must have no idea what it is like to be truly busy.
Another lesson for Elizabeth Howell. Use time available amid your hectic life to DO something. To make something. Be productive and don’t let creativity go to waste.
Lastly, a quote (of which I don’t know the source) that helped me get through college: “Do a little bit more each day than you think you possibly can.”