Hey friends, I’m honored to be hosting Andrew Gilmore here, who has written a book called Under the Sun: Discover Your Calling and Live a Meaningful Life, which is all about discovering what God has placed within you, and how to bring it out. In addition to his beautiful cover art, I love his illustration of the blemished baseball card below; I love how it is more valuable because it is blemished. I have spent a lot of my life trying to hide my blemishes. Perhaps you have, too. What if we could fully own our uniqueness, blemishes and all? That feels like freedom to me. Enjoy.
by Andrew Gilmore
Five years ago I was stuck. I’d been in church all my life, but I didn’t really feel connected or like I was making a difference in anyone’s life. I loved God, sure, but I didn’t how I could contribute anything meaningful to His kingdom. So I sat week after week in the sanctuary, listened politely to the sermon, and then went about my business.
But I knew there was a better way.
God captured my attention one day, and I began learning how I could use my unique gifts to impact the world. I haven’t arrived yet; I’m still learning as I go. But now on the other side of my church auditing days, I wanted to share what I’ve learned in hopes of helping someone else get off the pew and to work for the kingdom. That’s why I wrote Under the Sun, and I’m honored that Steve allowed me to share an excerpt from the book with you:
The nameless Frank Thomas rookie card will fetch around $1000 if you’re lucky enough to find one. The card is from the Topps Company as part of its 1990 set. Unlike your typical baseball card, the Thomas card is different. As you might have guessed, the card is blank where the machine should have printed Frank Thomas’s name.
On first glance it looks just like all the other cards. In its glorious 1980’s style, it has a neon orange border and a photo of the bomber nonchalantly tagging a baserunner, as if he were already preparing to smash another of his famous home runs. But take a second look and it’s obvious this card’s different. Where his name should be, there is none. Nothing. It’s just blank. You see where the name should be—on a blue field above the neon border. But it’s not there.
And that’s what makes the card valuable. It’s what makes it remarkable. A mistake, a screwup, a blemish.
You and I have value because of our uniqueness too. You might think you don’t have value, but you’re dead wrong. Jesus said, “Not one [sparrow] will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29b–31). If God would number the sparrows and number your hairs, rest assured you have value.
And just like that Frank Thomas card, you are unique. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and in every way possible you are your own person. Why would God go to the trouble of crafting you as a unique person if you didn’t have tremendous value? As David wrote, “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 139:13).
I don’t knit, but I’ve been to enough nursing homes to know it’s an intricate and painstaking process. I love that word knit because it describes exactly how God fashions us: He takes His time. Unlike the baseball card factory where cards are pressed by the hundreds, all designed to be exactly the same, God custom makes every human.
Yet we are still crafted in His image, which means He has granted us some of His characteristics. And the beauty of it all? Not only do we all look, sound, and feel a bit different from everyone else, we also have unique strengths and talents innate to our being. Some aptitudes are learned, yes, but it’s the combination of our experiences and talents that make us who we are.
Ephesians 5:1 tells us to imitate God. That means finding ways in which you are like Him—the unique strengths He’s given you—and maximizing them. The better versed you become in your strengths, the more like Him you become.
When you maximize your talents for God’s glory, you serve as a witness to the magnificence of your Creator, even if you never say a word. What the world desperately needs from you is more of you. More of your charm, more of your discipline, more of your empathy. Whatever it is that makes you you, the way God intended you to be, we need it. We need your music, your computer skills, your cooking skills, your bow staff skills.
We need it. And we’re desperate for it.
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Andrew Gilmore writes for people who crave a deeper relationship with God, but might not know where to begin. He provides the tools and inspiration you need to connect with your Creator on a more intimate level.
Purchase his new book before 12/27 and receive three awesome bonuses free. Learn more here.