I have recently acquired a “first”.
The box they came in measures 4”x4”. Inside that a black case measuring 2”x 2 ½“ and inside that, nestled in a form-fitting type of Styrofoam, are two ear-buds. There are colorful, flashing LED lights too. Ear buds. That’s a funny name, isn’t it?
Ear buds have only been around for the last few decades, or have they? Believe it or not earbuds have a history going back to the 1800’s! Well, sort of.
Starting back in 1850, one of the first in-ear listening devices was a stethoscope which had ivory tips that doctors would insert in their ears to listen to a patient’s heartbeat…but Thomas Edison used the stethoscope tips with his phonograph, which used wax cylinders to produce sound. (Source: gosoundshack.com)
I have them because Better Life purchased them for me to allow me recite script somewhere other than where our teleprompters can go. Much of what we do when filming is unscripted, but there are other times we want to share something verbatim, and that is when we need to see the words, or hear the words, in order to repeat them. (Of course, there is the whole memorization thing, but that is not happening at my age.)
The idea is to record the audio ahead of time and then as you listen with your ear bud in your ear, you repeat what is being said. This is going to be tricky.
I have never owned a pair of earbuds. I have never used ear buds. I realize they have been around a long time; what can I say? I am never in a rush to embrace technology. In fact, my grandson Warren bought me my first pair of studio beats two or three years ago for Christmas. These headphones, true headphones, are one of the best gifts I have received. But back to the earbuds. They intimidate me. How do I record the audio that I will hear through the ear buds? Where will the recording take place? How do I get the recording to my ear buds? How do I charge these silly things? How do I do this without seeming silly? How do I do this without asking for help?
The instruction manual measures 2 ¾ inches square before being opened. Once opened it reveals 8, step-by-step instructions in several different languages. It is a lot to take in. I get overwhelmed and close the lid and think, “I’ll tackle it tomorrow.” Any guess on how many “tomorrows” have transpired since I received these ear buds? _______
These ear buds are totally useless in the box! They are not doing the job they were designed to do. They are a gift that is not being used. I must do something about it this week!
Christ has given us gifts. What have we done with them?
Ephesians 4:7 says, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
What was Christ’s gift? His death on a cross for our sin. His tortured body offered as a living sacrifice for all the wrong we would do in our lives. His gift is salvation! His gift is love and life! And not just life, but eternal, perfect, happy, joyful life. His gift is grace!
“Every believer is saved by the same grace, through the same faith, given by the same Savior, who is both Lord and God of all. Here, Paul returns again to the theme of grace (in Ephesians 4:7), this time focusing on spiritual gifts. While our faith is unified under a single God, God brings each person exactly what they need, depending on who and where they are…” (Source: bibleref.com)
God’s gifts are not meant to remain in the box! They are to be opened and used. God’s gifts grow us, allowing us to be more mature.
Perhaps you have had this experience with a child or grandchild. There is more than one child, and you know, no matter how you do this, someone is going to be unhappy. One child will see what his or her sibling received and suddenly they are not happy with their own gift; they want what the other has. I have gone so far as to buy the kids the same gift so there would be no arguing. That is not how God works.
Let’s look at a few more verses from Ephesians, from The Message Bible.
“In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.
“You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.
“But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is,
“He climbed the high mountain, He captured the enemy and seized the plunder, He handed it all out in gifts to the people.
…He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.” Ephesians 4:1-13
God is a good gift-giver!
“Ephesians 4:1–10 is Paul's compelling description of Christian unity. Every saved believer, regardless of talent or skill, Jew or Gentile, male or female, is saved by the same faith in the same God…At the same time, God gives different gifts to different people, so that they can serve the many roles needed to accomplish His purposes here on earth. Rather than being concerned about what gifts we might lack, each Christian can rejoice in our unity, and focus on serving God to the best of our ability. (Source: bibleref.com)
What is your gift? Have you opened it? Are you using it?
by Jeanette Stark – Tuesday, December 6, 2022