Friday, March 14, 2008

I Have A Super Power

My youngest son, David, is ten years old.

He has a way of pausing for a moment in mid-sentence and spouting off a sentence bristling with simple genius.

One day he was sitting at the kitchen table doing his math homework. Suddenly he looked up for a moment as if he were contemplating an insect's upside-down journey across the ceiling and then he said, "Hey Dad, did you know that any number you multiply by 5 is the same as taking half of that number and adding a zero?"

I stopped sipping my coffee and mentally attempted to refute his simplistic theory. "Let's see, half of 4 is 2, so 5 times 4 would be...20. And half of 10 is 5 so, 5 times 10 would be...50," I said, to my own amazement.

David got back to working on his math again and said, "Yeah, but it only works on even numbers."

I tried the odd numbers next. "Well, half of 3 is 1.5, so 5 times 3 would be...15. Hey David," I said, "It still works with odd numbers. You just move the decimal place over one space to the right."

I was dumbfounded at my son's accidental genius. As a college graduate who is over 40 years old, this mathematical truth had never occurred to me. Not once.

A quick check of my son's math book revealed that he had actually dreamed this up on his own, and after quizzing my wife I discovered that she hadn't taught this to him either.

My son is a genius.

The other day he had another little epiphany. This time it was a spiritual one.

He came into the room and said, "I used to think I had a super power, when I was little. But I could never figure out what it could be." We waited for the punchline to this observation and he matter of factly concluded, "But last night I remembered that I have the power to encourage people and make them feel better. It's my spiritual gift from the Lord. So, I do have a super power, but it's from God."

And then he went back to playing with his Bionicles.

Our house church has made it a priority this year to help each person in our group discover their spiritual gift. We've realized that, according to Paul in 1 Corinthians, God has built us into a church. He's made us, on purpose, a diverse group of people, each with different gifts and talents and interests and abilities.

Because each person performs a specific function within our body, we need each other.

So, if you're part of the Body of Christ, you have a spiritual gift. That gift is specifically given to build up the Body. This means that you matter. You have something each of us needs in our own personal spiritual development.

You, as my son David would say, have a Super Power. Now you need to learn how to use it so that everyone else in the Body can function the way God intended.

Here's a pretty comprehensive listing from scripture regarding the various spiritual gifts that God has given to build and encourage His Church. Which ones do you have?

*Ephesians 4:11 - Apostles; Prophets; Evangelists; Pastors; Teachers.

*1 Cor 12:8-11 - Word of Wisdom; Word of Knowledge; Faith; Healing; Miracles; Prophecy; Discerning Spirits; Tongues; Interpreting tongues.

*Romans 12:6-8 - Prophecy; Service; Teaching; Exhortation; Giving; Leading; Acts of Mercy.

*Miscellaneous - Administration (1 Cor 12:28); Hospitality (1 Pet 4:10); Celibacy (1 Cor 7:7); Martyrdom (1 Cor 13:3); Prophesying in Song (1 Chr 25:2 & 7); Prophesying with instruments (1 Chr 25: 1 & 6); Craftsmanship (Ex 31:3); Dream interpretation (Gen 41:12)

"If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body." - 1 Corinthians 12:19

As we each begin to discover our spiritual gift (or gifts) we can better understand our place in the rest of the Body of Christ.

I personally believe that there are probably even more spiritual gifts than these listed for us in the Bible. Again, variety seems to be God's forte. The list could be endless.

So...what's your Super Power? And more importantly, are you currently free to use it the way God intended?



Pam Hogeweide said...

i have sometimes joked with family and friends that if i could only find my cape i'd have super powers to be super woman!

your son sounds awesome. my son is also 10. he'll be 11 in couple of weeks. my boy jeremy is a philosopher. and a comedianne. one night at bed he asked me, Does God fart?

super powers = spiritual giftings. i love it.

Parke said...

Thanks for continuing to share heartwarming and meaningful thoughts.