Tonight I went ice skating for the first time in years. Donning the rented skates I reminisced about my days of figure skating and the many hours spent on the frozen lake. I remembered gliding with ease across the rinks, doing crossovers, twirls and jumps. I thought about the races we would have and the fun of the toe pick. In my memory skating was magical, and I was certain I would step on the ice in perfect form.
I didn't. My first glide was unsteady - arms out, legs out - thankfully not falling, but no longer judging the people holding the railing or using the special supports. I was awkward. It took me awhile to start feeling comfortable on the skates. I was slow, and had no fancy footwork. My goal was simply to get around the rink without ending up with snowy pants. Lap by lap I improved, and attempted some of my former glory day moves. I ended up laughing - these were not the moves of a skating star!
When I handed back my skates (with sore feet, and a blister forming) the attendant asked me how skating was. I responded honestly - "well, I thought I would be better than I was, so it was a humbling experience, but it was a great night!"
You may not have had this kind of skating experience, but I'm wondering if you've ever felt a little rusty after trying to pick up an activity again. Possibly you're back on council and trying to get back in your deacon groove. Maybe you used to visit lots of people and haven't recently. Perhaps you've gotten busy and haven't been in Scripture or praying like you used to. It can be really hard to realize that something you used to feel comfortable with, or "good at" now feels foreign, or you can't do it the same way you did it in the past. It can be really discouraging!
When these realizations come there is a choice to be made. You can wallow in self-pity, bemoaning the good old days and feeling inadequate now. Or, you can appreciate what was and what is now, work on the things you want to get better at, and be inspirational in hope. As children of God we are meant to grow, to blossom, to live! As deacons we're called to encourage others with words of hope and deeds of joy, to inspire faithful stewardship, to live like Christ.
You are incredibly gifted, and your uniqueness is exactly what the world needs - it's what your community needs - it's what your council needs. Dare to live in the fullness - and inspire and encourage others just because you're living out of who God created you to be - now, at this very point in your life!