“I’ve lost something. I want to try to find it again.” — John Steinbeck

Ephesians 4
Colossians 3:12-17
2 Peter 1:5-9

Bobblehead Night makes for one of the best nights on any sports team’s calendar. Is there anything cooler than receiving a doll whose over-sized and ever-smiling head bounces endlessly? We look at any bobblehead, laugh, and then in relief think, “Gosh, I’m glad my head isn’t that big. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, poke my head in the fridge, or find clothes with a suitable neckline.”

Having a bobblehead-sized head would compare to having a “#1” hand-sized hand. We’ve seen those foam hands with the index finger pointing up. While fun to wear at baseball games, we wouldn’t want a hand that large. It wouldn’t fit in our pockets, would make holding a cell phone difficult, and couldn’t grasp tweezers.

Our gifts, talents and life pursuits can become bobbleheads and big hands. They can grow too large, create disproportion, and lead us to life out of balance.

What is life out of balance? It’s developing only one’s strengths, or pursuing only one part of one’s life. It’s a Hall of Fame coach having tapes of his family’s dinners sent to him at the office.  It’s working out more than once a day when you’re not a professional athlete.  It’s being “too busy” for a relationship.  It’s neglecting weaknesses because strengthening them proves difficult.  It’s knowing only one thing, being only one thing, playing only one role, wearing only one hat and trying, more than anything, to convince oneself that this one aspect is all that really exists.

Be more. Be more than a student.  A pray-er. An evangelist. A teacher. A pastor. A president. A soldier. A frat guy. A businessman. A deacon. A cleric. A scholar. An investor. A fan. An owner. An artist. A carpenter. A musician. Be a complete person. Be a whole person, not just a player of one role.

We find this greater wholeness in remaining part of a larger body of people. We have more than one role to play. A hand does point, grasp, reach and touch. But it also must remain connected to the wrist, the arm, the rest of the body. We each have a role to play. The connection grants our gifts their value – no matter how seemingly crucial they are.

We must remain connected to one another. We must help each other become whole people. Let us not remain people with outsized gifts. This only leads us to life out of balance, making us incapable of life together. We can’t live with such untempered gifts, at least not in a world of people who need us to be part of a community. But teacher, when connected to the community, also becomes friend, brother, helper, servant, leader.  The athlete becomes husband, deacon, mentor, coach. We each become more, and we become, and we each become more human.

Does this mean denying gifts? No, certainly not. It means training them, and remembering that the gift itself is not the end. The aim is learning to use the talents, abilities and opportunities and contribute to the whole, to bring something to the community, because the community is the point. A life in balance is the point. Becoming whole by coming together is the point. Bobbleheads and big hands are not. 

Have I focused on one area of my life to the detriment of other areas?
What is this doing to my ability to relate to others, to exercise and grow others gifts, to learn more about who I am?
Am I connected to a community in meaningful ways?


© 2006