Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Finding my S.T.O.R.Y.

I first read Max Lucado’s Cure for the Common Life last year.  I was at a point in my life where I have really never been before – not working, not volunteering, not going back to school – I was truly a stay at home wife.  I stumbled across this book by God’s design in the bargain bin at one of my favorite book stores.  “For $4.97 plus some tax, why not” I thought.   And wouldn’t you know, this is probably one of the most beneficial books I have ever read in my life (save God’s Word of course).  My basic question was “what has God designed me to do/be with my life?”  So, I began reading …

            Sweet spot … A zone, a region, a life precinct in which you were made to dwell.  He tailored the curves of your life to fit an empty space in His jigsaw puzzle.  And life makes sweet sense when you find your spot.

In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25), each servant was given the portion according to their own unique ability.  You & I have also been given our own unique abilities from God.  But, how do we know those abilities?  How do we know what God has equipped us to do and be in life?  In order to answer these questions, here’s a couple of other questions to soak in “what do I like to do” and “what do I do well”?

Now there are some people who know without a shadow of a doubt what God created them to do in life.  Granddad is such this person.  When he transferred to a different high school when his parents moved to another state, he took one class that made the difference in his life.  He knew right then and there what his “sweet spot” was (albeit not referring to this as his “sweet spot”).  God had the master plan for my future husband’s life.  God knew how this young boy would be molded and shaped to become the man of God that he is today. 

            God endows us with gifts to make Him known … When you magnify your Maker with your strengths, when your contribution enriches God’s reputation, your days grow suddenly sweet.  And to really dulcify your world, use your uniqueness to make a big deal about God … every day of your life.

So, how do I find my “sweet spot”?  Lucado proposes five questions to help in finding my way to my unique spot … it’s my S.T.O.R.Y.:

            What are my strengths? (What do I do successfully?)
            What is my topic? (What do I like to do?)
            What are my optimal conditions?  (What motivates me?)
            What about relationships? (How do I relate to others during my successes?)
            Yes! (Simply accepting God made me to be me.)

When God made me, He broke the mold.  When God made you, He broke the mold.  On every single one of us, He broke the mold.  No one else in His entire universe can be me.  And no one else can be you either.  I believe we can encourage one another to be the best “me” or the best “you”, but we should not pressure someone to be whom we think they should be.  

 Lucado uses the example of a young boy whose father was a dairy farmer.  Now farming really wasn’t this boy’s “sweet spot”, so after he finished his chores he would dart off to read or study or draw.  He was full of energy, but just didn’t take to the family business.  Instead, he followed his heart and became one of the most respected evangelists of all time … Billy Graham knew his sweet spot and followed God’s design for his life. 

Cure for the Common Life is one book that I highly recommend to anyone from teens to retirees … anyone who is indecisive on what career path to follow … anyone who is searching to live their life in the center of what God created them to be.  I just scratched the surface in this post, but this little bargain-bin book has been a treasure.  I’m still working on my S.T.O.R.Y. but right now I’m being where God needs me most. 

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