As I grow older, I am becoming more and more convinced of one thing: I cannot be anything or anybody I want to be. There are limits to my abilities and regardless of how hard I try or train, there are certain skill sets I will never attain.
I have saws, drills, levels, and tape measures, but I’ll never be a carpenter. I can barely build a tree house or install trim without needing wood filler, extra nails, and a sore thumb. I just don’t get it.
I have paint rollers, brushes, paint, and smocks, but I’ll never be a painter. All the painter’s tape in the world won’t keep me from making you feel sea sick as you inspect my work. I just don’t get it.
I have pipe, wrenches, glue, and tape, but I’ll never be a plumber. I can change out a faucet, repair a toilet, and even look like a plumber while performing these tasks, but the multiple trips to Home Depot and the hours staring at the fittings tell me I’ll never make a living doing this. I just don’t get it.
I have a garage full of motors, fantastic tools, a stereo playing classic rock, and hand cleaner, but I’ll never be a mechanic. Some people, like Dad, can just stare at an engine and get it to crank. Not me. I can read mountains of manuals, listen intently, get my hands dirty, and watch videos, but I can’t get it to work. I just don’t get it.
I have landscape beds, hanging baskets, grass, and a little land, but I’ll never be a gardener or landscaper. I can barely keep native trees and weeds alive, nevertheless actual plants, fruits, and flowers. I can buy the best equipment, get the advice of buddies, and pray for rain, but nothing grows for me. I just don’t get it.
I have a cabinet full of tupperware, an attic full of stuff, a messy garage, the closets of two little girls, and a degree in engineering, but I’ll never be organized. After dinner, I have nine green beans in the largest container, three pounds of rice in sandwich baggies, and the steak wrapped in foil. The fridge is stacked three deep with last month’s milk stuck in the back. When I try to clean the garage or the girl’s closets, I just sit there in a Xanax filled state, sucking my thumb. No matter how hard I try, I cannot get organized. I just don’t get it.
I have two piles of wood, reams of paper, cool utensils, and a large pack of lighters, but I can barely start a fire. And even if I do get it started, I struggle keeping it burning. This may not be a bad thing – unless you like slow cooking succulent meats for long periods of time! I spend most of my time tending the fire rather than prepping the meat. I just don’t get it.
However, if something stops working, bring it over here. Have a new electronic device? Let me show you how it works. Don’t understand a sport? Pull up a chair. Math problem got you frustrated? That’s no problem. Your young child is crying? Watch this. Random song or fact stuck in your head? We’ll figure it out.
While my talents may not solve practical problems – or save us money – they’re still my talents. And someone somewhere needs them. And I’m okay with that, because that’s how God made me.
That I get.