Since finding out that I am pregnant I have had some very interesting dreams. I mean I have ALWAYS had interesting dreams but these are a different kind of interesting. Like the other day for example as I was waking up sort of lingering in between being fully asleep and fully awake I had this sort of mini-dream about spiritual gifts and how they are like a sweater. I would like to tell you that I always have ultra-spiritual dreams but I don't. This one seemed to make up for it. What was weird was the overwhelming feeling that I had to write it down somewhere when I woke up. I should have. But, instead, I waited too long so I just remember snippets now but I will try to remember as much as I can...I will warn you, it seemed brilliant as I was waking up!
So, in my dream, which I cannot remember how it started, who was there or why, etc there was this sweater. The sweater was used as an analogy for spiritual gifts and how when we become a Christian we receive a spiritual gift. Now, some people believe you receive giftS. I am not looking to debate this either way at this point. So the idea was that this sweater was more of a cardigan because it would always fit (within reason) as opposed to a pull over. You have to receive the gift and open it up in order to use it. And it is always the perfect fit, color, style, etc for the recipient throughout your lifetime. But the sad part was most people opened up their gift and never put it on. I remember feeling sad in my dream about that and thinking that I wish people would open their gifts up because they would see how wonderful that they were.
I woke up in sort of a "huh" state of mind thinking what did I eat before I went to bed and why was I thinking about that?? I'm not on drugs...just prenatals and folic acid! I got to thinking about it and thought through the analogy a bit more (which if you know me you know that I LIVE in analogy-land where everything can be explained with a story or word picture!). It seems pretty accurate. How many things are useful if they are never used? In order for a book to "work" you have to open it. For a new appliance to work you have to open it and plug it in. In order for a gift to be more than a fancy wrapped box you have to open it and USE it. How many Christians actually use their gift? For that matter how many Christians have ever opened their gift and "put it on?" Sadly, I don't think many people have.
I recently led a Ladies Bible study where we talked about spiritual gifts one week. Most of the ladies in this group have been saved longer than I have been alive! Most of them looked at me blankly when I asked them if they knew what their spiritual gift was. One answered in a way that it sounded like she picked the gift that she liked as opposed to the one that she truly was given. Another lady mentioned that she was afraid for others to know her gift for fear that they would line up outside of her door and drain her of all of her energy and time. Out of the 8 or so ladies there that was it. Only 2 said anything. It may be a generational thing or maybe they were taught that it was rude to talk about spiritual gifts or maybe it was me...I just don't know. But if this is a sampling of how Christianity views and uses their gifts it is no wonder why we aren't a healthier more functioning body! I was happy when I found out what my gift was especially when it has been confirmed by others who know me , scripture and opportunities to use it to serve.
I pray that Christians will start opening their gifts (AND SOON) and put on their party cardis as Old Navy says!