Based on Based on I Corinthians 12:12-31
I’m writing this meditation after watching the second episode of my new favorite TV show – “Black Lightning.” The show revolves around a super-hero who retired and became a noted high school principal, but went briefly back into action when a street gang targeted his daughters. His hope was to stay in retirement after rescuing them, but when one of his former students was killed by a gang leader who had kidnaped her daughter, he put on his uniform again and said, “Black Lightning is back.”
His estranged wife objected, because she knew that using his powers led to his physical suffering and because he promised her he’d stay retired so that they could renew their relationship, but he reminded her of what she said years ago when they realized that he had a special power – that it was a gift from God – and he then said that for the good of the community, he had to use his gift.
Black Lightning is a fictional character, but his message is real and relevant today – in a time when good people sometimes accommodate to and stay silent in the face of evil and when many politicians and “evangelicals” support a dangerous and amoral President because they like his politics.
We’d do well to remember that our lives are a gift from God, Who also gives each of us unique gifts and graces that we sometimes misuse. We sometimes use them to gain personal prosperity and personal advantage or to damage others and get ahead of them, and we sometimes tuck our gifts and graces away, fearing that using them to do the right thing might be to risky, costly or inconvenient and might turn off old friends and people we want to impress.
Too many good people simply “limp” through life and never find real peace, strength and joy because we’d rather play it safe than to use what God gave us. When we take the time, however to use what God has given us to do God’s will – and to do so with people of like mind and faith – we’ll find new direction, new peace of mind and new meaning in our lives.
Take the time to let God use what God gave you to make a positive impact on the lives of others, to speak truth to power, to “fight the good fight” and to do God’s will. It may not always be easy, might be inconvenient and might even be dangerous at times, but when you let God direct your life and exercise your gifts and graces to the glory of God, you’ll realize new joy, see lives changed, see justice and equity realized and know why my spiritual ancestors first sang, “I’m gonna live so God can use me, anywhere, Lord, anytime.”