Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:10 (NIV)
We are in the middle of our biggest event of the year at work, History Fair. Almost 1,500 students submitted 958 entries on a variety of historical topics. When I started our community’s history fair, twenty one years ago, about thirty students participated. It has grown so large that now, we fill up our local convention center and over one hundred people serve as judges. This year’s fair has a different twist. I turned over the management of the fair to my staff. History Fair is my baby. I nurtured it, organized it and maintained control of it. I also assumed total responsibility for it. Since receiving a promotion last year and taking on a lot more work, I have not had the time to invest into the event like I used to have. I began preparing them last year, teaching them what needed to be done, compiling lists that they could work from and gradually delegating tasks to others. This year, I have been almost completely left out of the preparations. I did not visit any schools to train students. I did not help any children with their research; I did not recruit any judges. I did not enter even one entry form into the computer. My staff has done an excellent job in preparing for the event and today’s registration and the first day of judging went very smoothly. There were a few glitches, but nothing that they could not solve. In fact, I felt very useless. I kept reminding them and myself that I was no longer the head. One of my staff has that role now and he has done a good job of assigning responsibility. I kept saying, I am not the head, I am the hands, as much to myself as to them. While I desperately miss working with the students and teaching them, it has been nice not to be so stressed and have the burden of the whole event on me. In years past, I would dream about History Fair at night, but I have not had any of those nightmares this year. The man in charge has though and he says he feels like my spirit has been transferred to him. Perhaps it is true for I am sleeping like a baby while he was up all night last night worrying. I will admit however, that I am chaffing some in the role of being the hands. They sent me to Wal-Mart twice today to buy supplies, and I am so over that. Standing in line, going to customer service to get the tax exempt card approved, and winding my way through the parking lot is not my idea of fun. Being the servant is not always pleasant, but it is a role we are called to fill. I know God can use me no matter if I am in charge or just the shopper. And I sure sleep better when I am in His will as well.