Monday, April 25, 2016
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However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ…Ephesians 4:7(NLT)
Sometimes we imagine [we know exactly what wisdom and maturity look like; especially those of IUS who are on the "seasoned" side (AARP-eligible).
Sometimes we merely have managed to live a lot of years without learning that wisdom and maturity don't always go together.
Pat Giffin, my friend and mentor was a great pastor, mature and wise. When I first met him in Gainesville, Florida in 1983, we became fast friends. When he retired he joined our church, and, while technically I was his pastor - in reality it often worked the other way around. I’m glad it was that way, because I benefitted immensely from his wealth of understanding of how to be a pastor.
For instance, Pat told me about a young girl who lived at Sunland Training Center who, along with several others suffering from mental challenges, came to his church every Sunday. She often begged him to let her play the organ. She had no musical training whatsoever, but she had an intense desire to contribute. Pat always changed the subject when she asked, because he had found out she got quite hostile when disappointed.
Finally one Wednesday evening, the pianist and organist were both no-shows, so when the young girl pleaded with Pastor Pat, he knew this was an opportunity to let her try; it was a small crowd on a rainy evening
From the first note it sounded as if a professional organist had arrived. The congregation - particularly Pastor Pat – was surprised and mesmerized by the young girl's ability; her playing was as if she'd been around the keyboard all her life.
Several weeks later, while dropping her off after a Sunday service, the girl's case worker asked Pat what they were doing in working with this girl; she had ceased being difficult at the training center. In fact she had become among the most cooperative of all the residents. Pat responded, weII, we haven't done anything to her, but she sure has done something for us!
By telling that girl's story my mentor taught me that conventional maturity and wisdom are different than what you'll find in the body of Christ. When the Spirit of God places a gift in one of His children, that gift will have the unmistakable stamp of God-quality, which is far above human ability!
There are gifts God has given to his children that sit all around you in the pews every Sunday. And often you meet many more in the daily routines of your life.
Are you hearing God's music?