I came down with a sore throat over a month ago. Congestion was followed by an incessant cough–a cough that would not allow me to speak more than 2 words of a sentence before the pressure in my chest would cause me to cough. It has been super annoying and draining. By late afternoon each day, I am done. I have no more energy. Every cough seems to sap my health points. The health bar shrinks after every coughing attack. (My kids play video games hence the video game analogy.)

I finally dragged myself to the doctor yesterday. The verdict after a chest x-ray: bronchitis. Ugh. Why did I wait so long to go to the doctor? Why did I think I could just take care of it myself? In my deluded brain I can catch myself thinking, “I know more than the doctor who spent YEARS of his life studying under brilliant professors, practicing medicine under the watchful eye of seasoned professionals. He’s spent years treating any number of illnesses, conditions, and diseases. I just live in this body. I can’t magically see into my lungs to check for inflammation and fluid.

This is not my only delusion. When I swim laps, I imagine myself swimming like Michael Phelps. Years ago, I was swimming laps at the YMCA when a reporter and cameraman entered the pool area. They asked if they could film the boys and me swimming for a piece they were doing. Since my face would be in the water and no one would know me, I agreed. When we watched the piece on the 6 o’clock news later, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Is that how slowly I swim? They must’ve switched me out with someone else. Nope, that was me .. poking along on local television, nothing like Michael Phelps.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a few pet peeves, particularly using “literally” when the situation clearly calls for “figuratively.” (See http://staletoast.com/pet-peeves) One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear someone say, “He’s just a man. He puts on his pants one leg at a time just like you and me.” First of all, thank you for the visual you just gave me of the person getting dressed. I do understand the point of this comment. All of us are created equal. However, we are not all created the same.

When my pipes begin to back up, I may try to put in some Draino. If that simple fix doesn’t do the job, though, I call a plumber. Who do I think I am to fix something as well as a plumber who’s trained under a master plumber and has been attending to peoples’ plumbing needs for years? I once tried to change out an outlet using a you tube video and ended up having to get an electrician to clean up my mess. The outlet was so ancient, there wasn’t a video to address it. If my car starts making weird noises or shaking, I don’t lift the hood and tinker with the guts of the car. I take it to a mechanic (one I trust–all mechanics, plumbers, and electricians are not equally trustworthy).

Let’s not deny the achievements of others just to make ourselves feel better. Let’s celebrate the giftedness of others and encourage them to shine in what they do best. Even in the church, our thoughts may be a bit delusional. I can sing along with the worship team thinking, “I could sing like that.” So why don’t I sing so loud when the music fades? Possibly, because I have no talent. Musicians spend hours practicing their instruments. Many of them have spent the time and energy on professional lessons to improve their God-given talent. Most of the vocalists I know have spent hours training with a voice coach. They’re at the church practicing with the team to create an environment of worship on Sunday, while I’m home eating dinner with my family. Let’s not forget the many hours and astounding amount of effort that goes into all of the technical issues that go into each service. These workers may be behind the scenes but the work they do is invaluable. Our children’s workers spend time in meetings and trainings which help them to love on kids and lead them to a deeper relationship with the Lord every Sunday. Our greeters spend time in training and meetings as well, learning how to best serve every person who steps foot on our property. I fully appreciate every position in the church, but pastors (my husband, in particular) are near and dear to my heart. They have spent years under the tutelage of Bible scholars and professors learning how to delve into the Word of God in order to communicate God’s truth with those they are called to shepherd. They spend hours in study and prayer every day preparing what God would have them to share with those they lead.

Whether it’s a doctor, plumber, HVAC technician, mechanic, pastor, etc., let’s not invalidate the giftedness and achievements of others. Let’s recognize the unique calling God has placed on each believer’s life. Let’s applaud the work they have put into improving that God-given talent. No more delusions. I cannot do what you do. You cannot do what I do. That’s why we need each other.

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