A short note this evening about an “ah-ha” moment I had today. In processing grants there are usually several trees worth of paper involved on a daily basis. Certain funders have persnickety requirements such as font size, margin width, word counts, no staples, page numbers, no page numbers, number of pages, double-sided pages & yada-yada! Whew! I’m tired just thinking of what I actually read through on a daily basis!
I am organized, sometimes to a fault! When positioning several documents for mailing, I usually align clips in that they don’t bunch up at the same place when bundled together. I know….anal comes to mind doesn’t it? Anyway….I have discovered the wonderful assortment of paper clips. I am now raising my right hand repeating, “I will not become a “clip-aholic” like I was a “pen-aholic” in nursing!!!” There are some that just stand out in front of the rest. Sturdy, slick, heavy-duty & I always use them first. Then there are the square ones I reserve for my files only. And I have this cute one that is my symbol for my biz. I never use it because I don’t want it lost. Hey, it’s my symbol! My latest fav are the vinyl coated ones. Colorful, clean, secure & colorful! Yes…that’s my personality! I have found we have some regular paperclips that leave ugly marks on my pages. God forbid! Today allowed me the time to dig through my space & sort the ones I don’t care for. In doing this completely worthless, time-consuming task I had my “ah-ha” moment. When I send documents out, I always send my semi-favorite clips leaving the ugly, distasteful ones to accumulate. Why not send the ugly ones out instead & get rid of them? Eureka! I know… I actually wasted brain cells on that thought?
The gist of the story is that in my eyes they are ugly, useless & in my way. To someone else they could be useful & welcomed. I realize it is just a stinking paper clip, but bear with me here! At that moment, I couldn’t help but think about the gifts & talents God has given to us. We allow insecurities, poor self-talk, the opinions of others, fear, intimidation, or complacency sabotage us to shuffle the gifts back in the proverbial drawer of life becoming useful to no one. In our society we have a growing number of “given-ups” instead of grown-ups. We may possess an uncanny ability of drawing the best out in people, yet we shrink because if we fail, we will leave a mark on our soul or reputation. To someone else, we could add value & display the hope, faith, trust & courage they need to take another step. Our smile, positive words, kindness in action, affirmation, & belief in who they can become should never be reserved, but freely offered. Who are we to hold them back because of our tarnished self-perception?
My drawer is sorted, not neatly, but sorted, (see! I’m not THAT anal! ) I purpose to send all the clips out that were once held back in hopes that when returned, they will be newer & shinier! No! It’s not selfish! I’m recycling! In L.I.F.E., I purpose to use the gifts & talents God has entrusted to me in hopes to help humanity. The return will be better because I have already gained valuable insight! Who knew?
Humbled again in such a simple lesson. In-tune to learn more & more of the nature of the One who sent His best so that I may be picked from the crowd as useful.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.-Jim Elliot