A group of animals got together in the forest one day and decided to start a school. There was a rabbit, a bird, a squirrel, a fish, and an eel. They formed a board of education and tried to create a curriculum. The rabbit insisted that burrowing in the ground be in the curriculum. The fish insisted on swimming. The squirrel insisted that perpendicular tree climbing be included, and the bird wanted flying. They put all these courses together and wrote a curriculum guide. Then they insisted that all of the animals take all of the subjects. Although the rabbit was getting an A in burrowing, perpendicular tree climbing was a real problem for him; he kept falling over backwards. Pretty soon he became brain damaged from these falls, and he couldn’t burrow well any more. He found that instead of making an A in burrowing, he was making a C. And, of course, he always made an F in perpendicular climbing. The bird was really beautiful at flying, but when it came to burrowing in the ground, he couldn’t do it so well. He kept breaking his beak and wings. Pretty soon he was making a C in flying as well as an F in burrowing. And he had a very bad time with perpendicular tree climbing. The squirrel was terrific at perpendicular tree climbing, but was so afraid of the water that he failed swimming altogether. The fish was easily the best in swimming class, but he wouldn’t get out of the water to come to any of the other classes. The valedictorian of the class was a mentally retarded eel who did everything in a halfway fashion. But the teachers were happy because everybody was taking all the subjects in their broad-based educational curriculum. Have you ever felt like the animals in that school? Have you ever been in situation where you are supposed to do things that you are not equipped to do? The Body of Christ, the church, was designed by God to include everyone, but God never intended for everyone to do everything. You don’t have to be like your pastor, or like your youth minister, or like anyone else. God gave you specific abilities-called spiritual gifts-which are to be used in the church and in the world by you and you alone. No one else is gifted quite the way you are, and there are many jobs that only you can do. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12) The call to follow Christ is the call to discover our unique giftedness and then to use our God-given gifts and abilities to bring glory and honour to Him.