He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”     – Matthew 9:37-38

My son, Jackson, recently informed me that the no-sew fleece blanket I made for him several years ago was getting too small.  He asked if we could buy more fleece so I could make a new blanket for him.  I was touched that he wanted me to make another one and looked forward to doing so. 

Anxious to get the blanket started, Jackson got the fleece out on his own. He spread it out neatlyso that it was ready for me to begin my work.  I had only made a few cuts in the fabric when Jackson asked if he could do some cutting, too.  “Sure!”, I responded.  “It will  fun to make it together!”   About that time I had to take a phone call.  I returned to discover that Jackson had gotten a lot done all by himself!  He even told me he wanted to finish the rest of the cutting by himself.  I was disappointed that he didn’t want to do it together, especially since this was something I wanted to make for him as a gift of love.  Yet, at the same time I was impressed that he wanted to take ownership and do it himself.  That was fine.  He could finish the cutting and I’d help with the tying…or so I thought.  He wanted to do that by himself, too!  

“You’re doing a great job,” I told him, “but making this blanket was something I wanted to do for you.  Are you sure I can’t help?”   He was sure that he wanted to make the blanket by himself, and was sweetly reminded me that I’d gotten to make the first one for him.  How could I argue with that? 

At first I felt like I’d had an opportunity taken from me.  I wanted the joy and satisfaction of making something special for my son.  However, when I thought about Jackson’s eagerness to do the project himself and how happy it made him to experience the satisfaction of completing the project on his own, I realized it wasn’t an opportunity taken at all.  It was an opportunity given. 

I’d set an example for him and inspired him to do something he’d seen me do.  As a parent, how rewarding is that?  That’s a big part of my job as a mom – to teach and inspire my children so that they will take on projects and responisibilities of their own.  This enables them to discover their talents and grow in the gifts God has given them.  

This is a big part of being a Christian, too.  We’re to use the gifts and talents God has given us to teach and inspire others, while at the same time helping them to discover and grow in their gifts, too!   

Seeing that colorful Bobcats fleece blanket on Jackson’s bed reminds me of how proud I am of him, and how much I admire him for having the confidence to take on something new and the determination to do it himself. 

I’m thankful for those who have inspired, encouraged, and allowed me to take on new things, too.  They gave me invaluable opportunities to use and grow my God-given gifts and talents.   Good leaders don’t just take opportunities to help others follow.  Good leaders give opportunities for others to be leaders, too! 

Dear God, Yes, the harvest is great and the workers are few.  Help me to inspire and lead others to ‘your fields’ so they can find their places in leadership and service, too.   In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.