Some people naturally have a knack for building things. They imagine a shelf, desk, or bed and in their mind create blue prints. Within a short time they have built the beautiful physical manifestation just as they’d envisioned. These people usually have a myriad of power tools, they can actually read a measuring tape, and they wear tool belts not just because they look cool. I’ve never been one of “these people”. In fact, I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum.
For example In Jr. High I had wood shop. My only project (a wood chest) was so unlevel and off center I could have put a backrest on it and called it a rocking chair. Wood shop in High School wasn’t any better for me. When I showed the teacher my final project (a simple shelf) to get his approval to take it home his first sentence was “that piece of crap isn’t leaving my shop, or people will think I taught you like that”. He then kicked it and the whole thing fell apart like a house of cards. He then called the entire class over for a demonstration on how “not to build stuff”. It was hilarious. My last attempt at building something was a work bench in the garage about 5 years ago, which if I could find the picture I would upload it… and your eyes would bleed when you saw it.
When it comes to building materials my talent is my ability not to “construct” but to “deconstruct”. Give me a couple of power tools and a sledge hammer and I’m tear the place apart like Godzilla in a china shop while feeling like a kid in a candy store. My slogan should be “if you can build it, I can break it”. I’m basically the Hulk when Captain America says “Hulk, smash” and Hulk smiles in the Avengers movie. For all these reasons and more, the next sentence will surprise you. It will shock you. You may in fact want to sit down before you read it.
On Saturday, March 21, in the year 2015 I built a shelf in my basement that is not only pleasing to the eye, but level, sturdy, and completely functional. I honestly have no idea how it happened. It’s like when Peter Parker wakes up the day after he’s bitten by the genetically modified Spider and all of a sudden his vision is improved, he’s more buff and he has crazy awesome reflexes. (That’s in the first Spider man movie with Toby Mcguire BTW). It’s a complete phenomenon and should be added to the great wonders of the world. I took pictures of it on Saturday on my phone and found myself staring at the pictures every day since then multiple times per day in complete disbelief and wonder and how the shelves happened. The only explanation I have is the shelves were for food storage so I think I may have had some heavenly aid. It’s truly remarkable.
My point is, I achieved something that for me what was beyond impossible. Something I didn’t think I could do. To take that one step further it was more in the realm of “don’t even waste your time thinking about it” type of thing. However, I was able to achieve it.
I liken this to us. Most of us likely have the mindset that we are pretty inconspicuous to the world. We aren’t even a ripple in the ocean. We might even doubt our abilities or possibilities. What I have learned is to doubt ourselves, is to doubt God himself. With God, even “little old me” can be a powerful force for good capable of incredible and even miraculous things!
For example take Enoch. At one point he asked God “why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, I am but a lad, and all the people hate me, for I am slow of speech, wherefore am I thy servant”? Enoch doubted himself and saw himself as we likely see ourselves. However, God saw him how God sees everything both then, now, and forever… perfectly. Even though Enoch didn’t see or know what God saw and knew, he had faith. Sure enough, with God and that faith pretty soon Enoch is leading the people in war, causing the earth to tremble, the mountains to flee, rivers to change course, Lions to roar in the wilderness and causing land to rise from the depths of the sea and has caused all nations to fear him and God.
How about another example:
Joseph Smith. You want someone “weak” that God made mighty… he’s in the running for the poster boy of that catagory. God chose a boy, not a man, but a boy, who lived in Podunk farmland to bring back, organize and spread the Gospel and Priesthood and temporarily lead the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as a Prophet in this, the last dispensation to start a work so great, so wonderful, so powerful it will never again be taken from the earth. We are aware of the story of Joseph Smith and what he endured for this work which ultimately ended up in his martyrdom and all the amazing things he was able to do… so, what do I think the biggest similarity between these two examples is? The main reason they were both able to do so much? Faith.
We are capable and able of so much more than we think or know we are. If God can temporarily turn me into a hybrid of Handy Manny and Tim the Tool Taylor for a couple days to somehow build a shelf with an ability I’ve never even dreamed I’d have, he’s capable of anything. Do we allow him to change us? Is our faith sufficient? We know his love and abilities surely are, so it’s up to us. Sure, most of us are just “normal people” but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a bigger plan for us.
We all have talents and abilities. We all have a purpose and a part to play. Think of how incredible it is that we were saved and chosen for this day and age. That alone speaks volumes. We know Christ is coming again and we know it’s crunch time. Just like a coach doesn’t put his bench players in with the game on the line with time running out neither does God! We are all capable of so much! Maybe it’s the gift of patience and understanding to work with troubled youth. Maybe our calling is leadership, or being able to understand various situations to bring aid to those in need. Maybe we are able to communicate with a certain group of individuals extraordinarily well which facilitates the changing of lives. Maybe we can inspire or uplift? Maybe we can see visions, or alter the courses of rivers?
Moroni Chapter 10 is my favorite chapter in the entire Book of Mormon because it talks about just this thing. The culmination of that chapter for me is verse 23 which reads:
And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.To me, that says it all. God can help you do ANYTHING. Not what you think you can do, not only what match your capabilities, but ANYTHING. We just need the faith.