I had a job on a paint crew my freshman year of college. I also worked the
paint crew at a youth camp in Orr, MN that year. One of my jobs was to varnish floors in the A-Framed cabins at the camp. I loved the natural wood and spiral staircases in these buildings, but I had never done varnishing before.
So…my first day, I worked hard to prep a floor all morning and then I varnished half the floor. It was lunchtime, so of course, I took a break. I didn’t realize that if the varnish dried during my break, it would never blend with the new varnish when I went back to work and finished the second half of the floor. I tried it, but there was a clearly obnoxious line in the middle of the floor where I had stopped and later, restarted the job.
My boss was livid! We had to strip the entire floor and start over…thus, I am not a professional painter today. Varnishing, painting, and frankly most manual labor jobs just weren't jobs I could do well.
I used to feel bad about this, but I've since come to peace with the fact that I have other gifts/abilities. I've learned that the process of finding my "fit" in life involves both rejecting things I'm NOT good at as well as embracing the things I am good at doing.
What About YOU?
What is your "fit?" I read a book years ago entitled, "If You Don't Know Where You're Going, You'll Probably End-up Somewhere Else," by Dr. David Campbell. I strongly recommend it. Finding out about your best "fit" in life, career, ministry, etc., can be fun.
In my church role, I use a process developed by Pastor Rick Warren in CA. It's called the SHAPE profile. SHAPE stands for:
There are several tools that can help you evaluate each of these and thus discover how God has "SHAPE'd" you for ministry and for life in general. Still, I think the "trial-and-error" realities of failing in certain attempts are just as valuable, if not more valuable to help us see where we'll be most successful.
So--don't get discouraged when you fail. Think of Thomas Edison, who when asked what it felt like to fail thousands of times when attempting to invent the light bulb, said that he didn't fail. Rather, he asserted, he had learned thousands of ways NOT to make a light bulb. Let you failures be indicators of where you will find success, not sources of discouragement from your goal.
To that end,