Monday, July 6, 2009

The Economy of the Upside Down

by Kai Vilhelmsen

Do you remember what it felt like to be in the “team-picking lineup” when you were in grade school? I do. You can feel the warmth of the bricks against your back. Hands behind, they spring you slightly forward and back as you wait for your name to be called. “Will I be called?” “and, if so… when?” Here, in this tyrannical lineup, choices are made by how cool, how close, how fast, or how nice you are, …or maybe by what’s in your lunchbox. There is nothing longer than the span of time experienced by the last one to be picked. I know this personally… (and, subsequently, I know a great counselor in Nashville). This is the way of things. It’s the qualitative economy of this age and of ages past. THANK GOD it is not God’s economy! In fact, the best stuff happens when we feel entirely ill equipped, unprepared, and when there is absolutely nothing at all in our lunchbox for us to pull out. This is where God meets us. Somehow all that we might think we are is overshadowed by all that God is, and by the inestimable love and value that he has placed on each one of us.

True, God gives us aptitudes and abilities that are innately ours… gifts if you will. You have gifts. Do you have an idea of what they are? If you serve in a church setting, often times you will gravitate to opportunities consistent with your giftedness. Being an “up front” type is great, but then again, taking a child to the bathroom, or pouring juice, or cleaning up the under table carnage of dismembered goldfish crackers and cheerios will set the angels cheering too -- especially when it is accompanied by love. That’s a big one in this economy.

The truth is that you have a story in this economy. It will include sublime successes, absolute failures, near misses, and everything in between. Don’t worry about what you don’t have. Jump up and down for Who has you! So today, thank God for who you are, and where he has put you… and for your special place in the economy of the upside down.

Hey, your name was just called! And guess what, you were the first one picked!

Kai Vilhemsen holds multiple degrees in education and biblical studies, and is the writer/host of KIDMO’s Lil K preschool curriculum.

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