Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters… (Colossians 3:23 NIV)
I remember clearly the day I discovered that one of my programmer colleagues had been, in his “past life” (i.e., before his computer career), both a professional chef on a cruise ship and a Division I college hockey player. We were amazed, since he had seemed to be a garden-variety nerd like the rest of us at the lunch table. Of course, we pelted him with questions, and his stories did not disappoint.
We called those unknown talents “secret ninja skills,” and they show up unexpectedly. One colleague had spent a year at a Catholic seminary before deciding the priesthood wasn’t for him, but he still had a working knowledge of Catholic history and theology. While doing a group project in college, I learned that one of my fellow students was in fact a few years older than I and had been a professional ballerina before she turned to computer science. Many of my colleagues felt similar surprise when they saw me ballroom dancing at a work party. (Given live music and a dance floor, Adam and I can hardly resist!)
It turns out that upon closer inspection, hardly anyone is truly a “garden-variety” anything. God has such great imagination that all of us have more to us than meets the eye.
You don’t need an impressive skill to be interesting, either. Hobbies and passions can provide just as much insight into a person. Most people don’t expect me to have such an in-depth knowledge of football (the American kind). I never expected that my sweet, mild-mannered friend, a grandma, volunteers in prisons and has befriended murderers serving life sentences—which, while a relatively recent calling in her life, it’s a sincere one. We are all delightfully unique in both our gifts and interests.
One of my roles on the Vitality Team is to uncover the unexpected at Creekside. PULSE, the survey we took, will provide the team with excellent quantitative data, as well as some personal feedback, but we want to dig deeper. What are ministries outside of Creekside where Creeksiders serve? What hobbies consume us outside of church?
This is your head’s up that I might be talking to you about your “secret ninja skills.” What is a hobby you love or a skill you’ve used that has surprised people when they found out about it? Do you serve at a place or give to a cause that no one else at Creekside knows about? Do you speak a second (or third, or fourth!) language? Have you felt a calling that you want to pursue but haven’t been able to invest in?
These discoveries might someday become ministries or simply serve as points of connection among Creeksiders and between Creeksiders and our neighborhood. At the very least, knowing more about one another will be a God-glorifying way to deepen our relationships as we serve God together.
Abigail’s email address is in the directory.