Not too long ago I took an inventory to find my spiritual gift or gifts. I was surprised at the answer.
The most prominent one was teaching.
I thought, "No way."
I figured they had missed the mark until I read their definition of teaching. Their definition wasn't standing up in front of a group of people sharing knowledge. Their definition was one who sees God in situations and has the desire to share what they have seen with others.
I could buy that.
I do see God in most everything and I find it impossible not to share it with someone. Just ask Jim or Ethan or Bayley!
Most of you know my relationship with the skinks that have chosen to live in our yard. If you don't, you can click here. I promise you that sometimes it seems that there is a vacancy sign or a welcome sign in our front yard that only skinks can see. Jim has mastered the art of catching them and then taking them up the street and around the corner to dump them in the woods. I bet he has relocated 7 or 8 this spring and summer.
Yes, I know they eat bugs. I know they won't hurt me. I know they are suppose to be more scared of me than I am of them. I know they are God's creation but I don't care. I hate them!
I was traumatized when we moved in this house and I was greeted by the two small dinosaurs that had crawled in by way of a small hole under the dryer vent. I have not recovered from that trauma.
The other day Jim was taking out the garbage and I walked outside on the front porch with him. I saw a large, black skink crawling up the brick. I yelled and Jim went into action. Along with the bag of trash, he was also going to throw away a large empty Cheerios box. The box became his trap. Thank you General Mills! He pushed the box under the skink and gently tried to nudge the skink until it would fall into the box. The skink was cornered and didn't have anywhere to run.
I know ya'll are all just dying to know what happened next. . . right?
My heart is getting all pumped up just thinking about it.
Well, Jim, motivated by my yelling I'm sure, was a little too aggressive and he accidentally snipped the tail off the skink with the top edge of the Cheerio box.
It fell onto the porch. The tail that is. The skink was in the box.
Ya'll, that tail didn't even know he had been disconnected from the rest of his body. It was just flipping and flopping all over the porch.
I wish I had taken a picture but Jim and I were too busy yelling "gross." I was also busy telling Jim not to let the skink out of the box. Or at least the half of the skink that was left.
Jim felt really bad that he hurt the skink. I did, too.
No. Not really.
Jim took the skink and the tail up the street and dumped them in the woods. . . like they were going to find each other again!
It was only a few minutes later when God began speaking to me about the skink and its tail.
The tail was unattached from its life source but it thought it was still alive.
It was fooling itself.
No matter what it did, no matter how it acted, it was dead.
It could flip and flop . . . it could crawl around and act like it was still attached. . . like it was alive. But it wasn't.
It was dead before it even knew it was dead.
And, that tail would stay dead until it was once again attached to it's source of life.
I do believe in miracles, but I doubt if the tail and his skink body got back together that night in the woods.
No doubt, that skink tail is dead and is going to stay dead.
Jesus tells us in John 15 to stay attached. He tells us our life source is Him. And He also tells us what happens when we choose to live our lives unattached to Him.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned."
Choosing to live life unattached from our Life Source means death.
It may be death to our relationships. It may be death to our peace of mind. It may be death to our joy or our strength.
But, it always means death.
I've thought about the times I've been just like the skink's tail. Thinking I was healthy and alive but because I had moved away from God, I was in the process of dying.
I was like the skink's tail. . . fooling myself.
I'm thankful that as God's child, He has made away through Jesus Christ to return to Him.
One of my favorite passages says it so simply. It's from Isaiah 55:7:
"Seek the Lord while you can find Him. Call on Him now while He is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that He may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to God, for He will forgive generously."
And another is from Micah 7:18-20:
"Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of His special people? You will not stay angry with Your people forever, because You delight in showing unfailing love. Once again You will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under Your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean! You will show us Your faithfulness and unfailing love as You promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago."
Who would have ever thought God could teach me, of all people, through the tail of a skink.
The lesson was worth the experience but I do hope maybe next time He could use a