Recently, my brother asked if I (along with a willing other team of helpers) could stack some hay bales on his property after they had been cut and baled by the tractors. It was something I hadn’t done since I was a kid, so long in fact that I had forgotten the procedure for making hay. First it is slashed and then several days later another tractor passes over the cut grass and ‘rakes’ it into rows, then another tractor passes over it and gathers it, and feeds it into a chute where it is neatly packed into square bales, is tied off and then fed out of the back of the tractor where it waits for the crew to come by and stack it onto a trailer to be carted off and stacked for storage.
Thinking back over the procedure, I dwelt on the work of the tractor. I have grown up around tractors having grandparents that owned a farm and I first learned to drive, not in a car, but on a tractor.
The tractor is a real workhorse. Many a farmer would be lost without it as it is such a vital tool on any farm. But if their tractor did break down, what would they do? I can tell you now that they wouldn’t hitch up their Corolla. Why not? The car has a body, wheels and an engine, so why can’t we hitch it up and put it to work? The answer is quite simple. The Corolla was not designed as a piece of farm machinery. If you put that type of car through the load of a tractor, you would burn the engine out, the body would get dented, you’d probably rip the sump out at the first gutter you drive over, assuming you ever got there as you’d probably get it bogged in the paddock.
The car would end up a tired, rusted, and burned out because it was not looked after and treated in the way it was supposed to be.
We know that the above scenario would be a stupid one if acted on, but when it comes to life, we do exactly that. Let me ask you this. “Are you functioning as you were intended to?” Many people do function in areas they think they ‘need’ to as there is no one else to do the job (particularly when it comes to working with volunteers). But as we have seen above, functioning in an area you are not created to do will only in the long run leave you a burned out, rusted out wreck in a paddock, in a place where you should never have been.
If you can identify with that scenario, then in order to avoid being the casualty, the decision needs to be made right now for a life saving change. If you focus on what you are not gifted for (such as bookwork, or administration) then you are preventing yourself from doing the things you do enjoy doing. Functioning in the area of your giftings (and yes that might even be bookwork or administration) will bring you a sense of joy and will go a long way to recharging your emotional batteries rather than burning yourself out, and leaving you somewhere to rusting away in a paddock somewhere.
If you want to go the distance, find your strengths and work in those areas. Allow your weaknesses to be taken care of by others and you will go a long way to running the race well.
My prayer is that you keep aiming to finish well, and that you have an amazing month.
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