“A place for everything, and everything in its place.” That’s the key to being organized, but it’s also the key to unity and harmony within any type of community or family. Everyone one of us has a special place in this world, a special calling, talent, role to play. Two days ago we stated that people are like knives in a knife block. We’re all pretty sharp at something, but we were each uniquely designed to perform one or two special functions extremely well; and we all need to work at fitting in: we need to find our slot.
Imagine trying to cut your steak with a cheese knife. Good luck with that. Or imagine peeling a potato with a butcher knife. Goodbye fingers. We all know we need to select the right tool for the right job, right? But have any of you ever tried to use a butter knife to pry the lid from a paint can, or to tighten the screws on something? Wouldn’t it be easier (and safer) to grab the right tool? Sometimes, we know exactly which knife we need for a job, go to reach for it, and … it’s not where it’s supposed to be. So we either stop cooking long enough to locate it, or improvise and use a different knife. (Sometimes, after improvising, we also need to find a bandaid.) That’s why a kitchen runs so much more smoothly when we understand the purpose of each specialized piece of cutlery, and we keep each piece properly positioned in the right slot of the knife block.
Apply this to work, church, family, or any organization. Organizations need to be … ahem, organized. Especially families. Within a group, the members need to know who’s good at what, and then assign each task to the person best capable of doing it. And that person should be available when needed. Families run smoother when there’s a fair and logical division of labor: everyone has a job, everyone knows whose job is what, and everyone is playing his or her part. Dads have a slot that moms will find hard to fill, or vice versa. In church, teachers shouldn’t be playing the organ, greeters shouldn’t be handling the finances, and pastors don’t have time to type up the bulletin.
Folks, specializing is not a dirty word. It allows the most efficient use of time and talent, keeps things orderly and running smoothly, and enables everyone to play a part and discover their gifting. Would you want a podiatrist examining your eyes? Of course not. So, find the slot where you best fit, and be there when you’re needed. Maintain your “family” group the way you would your knife block: a place (role/task/function) for everyone, and everyone in his or her proper slot.
One last thought: “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace….” (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJB) So then: “…Be sure that everything is done properly and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40 NLT)
After all, if you haphazardly toss all your knives into a kitchen drawer, the resulting jumble of blades is not a good situation, at all. When you need a specific knife for a task, you’ll waste a good deal of time sorting through the chaos, and you may even slice a knuckle or two. Meanwhile, the knifes themselves will probably start rubbing each other the wrong way. A few will grow dull. Some may even get bent out of shape. Just saying.