Saturday, January 22, 2011
nichenoun1 a niche in the wall: recess, alcove, nook, cranny, hollow, bay, cavity,cubbyhole, pigeonhole.2. he found his niche in life: ideal position, place, function, vocation,calling, métier, job.
One of the unique things about being a pastor is getting to know people well enough to realize how many people don't feel like they've found their calling in life - their niche. Lots of people have found someplace to work, to serve, and spend their time . . . but most people aren't really sure they've found what they were born to do. I see people all the time who just don't seem to have found something they can give them selves to passionately. There's nothing more satisfying than steering someone in a direction that fits them well and where they come alive.What I've noticed is that, oddly, people don't always have a clear idea of what they are good at doing. We don't recognize our own giftedness. The person who's a gifted leader doesn't see it, so they stay in the background and become frustrated with disorganization. The musician who inspires others with their gift and passion, uses that gift too rarely and wonders why they're not satisfied in their hum-drum job. Perhaps it's a fear of failure or anxiety over being asked to do more than they feel capable of doing. The result is, too many people end up doing what they're not called to do, and just about everyone feels misplaced. In Romans 12, Paul reminds us of a concept that isn't well remembered in our individualistic culture: we are all a part of a much larger Body - the Body of Christ. He writes, "... in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." What's that? Each member belongs to all the others? You've got to be kidding. I'm my own person! As Invictus puts it, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
Well, according to God, you're not.
In fact, one reason that many of us go through life not sensing that we've found our purpose, our niche, might just be because we haven't stopped to ask God how we fit into his Body. We're like toes without a foot or eyes without a socket; stumbling and rolling around wondering why we just don't belong. This week's sermon will conclude our "Leave a Mark, Not a Stain" series, and we'll study how being a "living sacrifice" actually leads to greater meaning and fulfillment in life.