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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gifts (of the Spirit or service) (11/22/07)

TITLE: There Must Be Something Wrong Here
By Sheri Gordon


“Bye, son. Have a good day at school.” One down, one to go. As I turn to holler a ‘hurry-up’ encouragement to my husband, we meet with a thump at the bottom of the stairs.

“Oops, sorry. Gotta go. Running late, as usual.” Quick kiss, ‘love you’s,’ honk horn, wave, gone.

Finally. My time. I’ve been eagerly anticipating my personal Bible study all morning, because today I get to take a quiz, and I love quizzes. You know, the ones like; ‘Find the perfect pet for your personality,’ or ‘Did you really pick the right mate?’ I never take them seriously -- unless it’s ‘that’ time of the month. Then I actually have to consider whether I’ve been married to the wrong man for over twenty years. It is, after all, what the ‘experts’ just told me with their quiz.

Anyway, this morning’s quiz has much more relevance to my real life. Today I am going to find out my spiritual gifts. I’ve been waiting over forty years to see how the Lord wants to use me, and today’s the day.

We’ve been studying spiritual gifts in women’s Bible study, and I think I already know mine. Absolutely not ‘hospitality.’ I don’t ‘do’ people. Especially in my home. Probably not ‘missionary,’ either. Certainly not in a foreign country. I like to stay close to home. God knows I need my privacy and security.

Maybe ‘leadership.’ I am a good organizer and delegator. I’ve been successful in the business world, and people do look to me for answers. Definitely ‘giving.’ We’ve been giving more than a tithe for years. I was even asked to speak about giving once. Yes, ‘giving’ is undeniably my strongest gift, followed closely by ‘leadership.’

Okay, question one. ‘Do you adapt easily to cultures different from your own?’ 0 – not at all. Question two. ‘Do you manage your money well in order to give generously to the Lord’s work?’ 5 – very much.

The bummer about this quiz is that I already know the outcome. But it’s fun to do the numbers anyway, and I don’t want to show up at Bible study without a completed questionnaire.

Question twenty-four. ‘Do you believe that God will always keep His promises, in spite of current difficult circumstances?’ Not sure which category this falls in, but I’ll give it a 5 – very much. Question fifty-eight. ‘Have you experienced God’s miraculous work as a result of prayer?’ Oh yes! – 5. Question sixty-five. ‘Are you confident of God’s reliability when everything else looks dim?’ During the last three years, I’ve learned that God’s Word is always true, all the time. Five.

Question ninety-eight. ‘Do you accept unexpected guests into your home without getting stressed?’ Are you kidding? Most assuredly NOT – 0.

Now the fun part. Transfer the numbers to the correct columns. Add the columns. And … results.

“What? This can’t be right. I obviously miscalculated somewhere.” Taking my pink rectangular eraser, I wipe out the numbers on the tabulation sheet; meticulously erasing all traces of previous numbers, thereby minimizing the likelihood of repeating the error.

Start again. Transfer numbers. Add columns. And … same results.

Based on this particular quiz, my spiritual gift, far and above the others, is … faith. But, that can’t be right. Three years ago, faced with a terrible tragedy, I wasn’t even sure God existed. And if He did exist, I wasn’t sure He cared. And if He did care, I wasn’t sure I liked the way He cared.

But now, here I am, staring at the inevitable truth. Somehow, through tragedy, God brought me closer to Him. People told me it would happen, but I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to be closer to a God who let this awful event happen.

Yet, there is no denying it. I really do trust God -- completely. I know He cares, because He is healing me, emotionally and physically, every day. I learned that I have to hold on to Him, and even when I don’t, He still holds onto me. I have to have faith in God, because without faith in Him, I have nothing.

Lord, thank you for opening my eyes today. I may not yet have the faith of Abraham, or Job, or Noah, but You’ve shown me that my faith in You, and Your miraculous works, has grown beyond anything I could have imagined or asked for. Show me how to use this unexpected gift to help others.

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This article has been read 1034 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 11/29/07
I like your line about not taking the quizzes personally unless it's your 'time of the month' -- too funny, too true:) Very good writing and you're right about the spiritual gifts quizzes -- they are very enlightening!
Janice Cartwright11/30/07
For me personally most quizzes tend only to bring out ambivalence - I have too many "on the other hands." I did however enjoy your story and felt you made some excellent points and your writing was super. Thanks for sharing your heart.

btw the exception is I do like right brain/left brain quizzes.
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/01/07
The quiz idea was a clever way to introduce the topic. You represented both the gifts and your own heart well.
Sara Harricharan 12/03/07
This made me laugh out loud! Sounds like my kind of 'monthly ritual' to take a quiz here and there then wonder about the results. I loved how you made this an active part of the story. It flowed well and nicely. Good job. (Your title was hilarous too!)
Dee Yoder 12/04/07
Yes, I've been in those shoes-something terribly awful and yet...God's hope and light glimmers underneath all the dark pain. It DOES bring strength and faith. I really like this entry, and the humor that's spread through the quiz. And what a lengthy quiz that was, too! Don't know if I would ever finish one that long!
Shelley Ledfors 12/04/07
A very creative approach. I love the blending of a bit of humor with very important truths. Wonderful!
Jan Ackerson 12/04/07
I laughed out loud when you wrote about the "fun part"--transferring the numbers...we're definitely kindred spirits! But then you got me with a "gulp" at the ending. This story has it all.
LaNaye Perkins12/05/07
This was such a fun read. I really enjoyed it.
Karen Wilber12/05/07
Sounds like she was trying to "fix" the test. LOL. This reminded me of the fella I was sitting next to when I last took one of these quizzes at church. (total, total, total, what?!) Sometimes the gifts are surprise packages.
Leigh MacKelvey12/07/07
Ahhh, Shari ... this was a great entry. I'm glad you're in Masters now, your writing is wondeful!
Peter Stone12/08/07
Creative approach to the topic, using a questionarie, but 98+ questions - I don't think I could have made it through it. Loved the humor too.