Works in Progress

To the one who wrote “Covenant got Talent,” thank you. Thank you for being so vulnerable and honest in your writing. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel as we walk this earth, comparing and contrasting ourselves to those around us, striving to find something we can offer this world. While reading your article I could not help but remember two relevant conversations and one re-occurring admiration that have helped shape the way I view myself and this issue of "talents."

The first conversation took place over Thanksgiving break last year with a close friend.

I was sharing with her my struggle against resenting the "faces of Covenant” when she looked at me oddly and replied, "Gracie, you are one of them." What? No. What could she mean? I immediately cut her off by, quite literally, laughing in her face. But she persisted in her argument.

As she listed the ways in which over time I had become "seen" on campus, I felt like an imposter. I did not fit the description I had in my mind for someone who was the “face of Covenant.” The "faces" I had seen were people who I thought had life together and knew it. They were cool and confident.

They were faces of people who wouldn't be interested in getting to know someone like me because they're too busy being awesome. They were faces of people who commanded attention and admiration just by their very existence. They were faces of people who weren't like me.

The second conversation happened more recently. I was talking with one of the most gifted people I know on campus and was blown away, yet again, by the generous amount of talent God has poured out on him. When I asked how he managed to stay humble, he answered that he knows he has not yet reached his fullest potential. There is always, always, room for growth.

As I mulled this over, I was humbled by his response. I find myself thinking that if I could just be really exceptional at one thing, then people would value me. But my purpose in pursuing growth should not be about establishing my worth, but rather to be fully who God intended and created me to be.

Throughout my time at Covenant I have gotten to work quite a bit with A.V. people and I cannot stress enough my admiration for them. They get almost no recognition or praise, and yet they are an essential part of almost every main event at Covenant. The only time anyone is aware of A.V. is when things go wrong — so quite literally they become forgotten by doing their job well. I can only imagine how difficult this "behind the scenes" role is because you will often go unrecognized and your hard work and faithfulness will be taken for granted. No one knows the sacrifices you have made or the challenges you have overcome or just how many times you have covered for the sloppy work and poor planning of those on stage.

So how do these three thoughts tie together? I guess what I am trying to say is we get so caught up in comparing ourselves to others that we not only place them on unrealistic pedestals, but we also try to force ourselves to be what we think they want, rather than focusing on trying to be who God made us to be. I strongly believe that God bestows on His children gifts and talents that make each of us an essential part of the body of Christ. Unfortunately, in our culture today we give more value to the parts that are "seen" and forget that God is not limited to the visible! He is a God who delights in the unseen. He saw David faithfully tending the sheep in the field, and He saw the joyful widow offering her two pennies. Don't lose heart –– your work done in secret is not in vain! Whatever part you play, whether you're singing on stage or working the sound booth, we need each other in order to encourage and spur each other on to growth as God intended. We will never be the perfect image of ourselves we want to be and that's okay. After all, we're all just a bunch of works in progress.