Once upon a time… there lived a Hammer named Hero.  Hero lived in the land of Toolville and was a spectacular hammer.  All the townspeople in Toolville marveled at Hero’s abilities.  Hero would hammer away at everyone’s problems.  He could hammer nails of any size, handle any repair, and build enormous structures with ease.  He was the strongest, fastest, and most efficient hammer anyone had ever seen and was the most famous hammer in all of Toolville.  Hero the Hammer could do anything.

Everyone wanted to be like Hero, including a Handsaw named Hopeful.  Hopeful wanted to hammer nails just like Hero and worked long hours and stayed up late at night practicing.  He studied videos of Hero, read books about all that Hero had accomplished, and studied magazine articles on how to be just like Hero.

Hopeful was baffled by how effortlessly Hero performed his work.  Hopeful chopped at the nails with his blade, which really hurt, and no matter how hard he worked, he could never hammer nails with the same ease or efficiency as Hero.  The day finally came when Hopeful realized that he could never be as good of a hammer as Hero.  After all, he was just a handsaw.

In the moment of giving up, something very unusual happened.  Hopeful chopped at the nail in the board one final time when his blade slipped and his teeth sank deep into the piece of wood.  Cutting into the wood suddenly felt more natural to him.  As he began to sink his teeth deeper into the wood he felt more alive, as if he was meant to do it all along.  Faster and faster, he effortlessly cut through one board and then another and another.  Hopeful stopped and looked at his work… astonished.  At that moment he realized he could become the greatest wood cutter in all of Toolville…

I cannot afford to waste time trying to be someone I’m not.  I can only be best at being one person: me.  As Hopeful the handsaw discovered, we must free ourselves from who we are not, often before we can discover who we truly are.  Contrary to the slogan, we were not all created to “be like Mike” (Jordan), nor were we created to fit the mold of our favorite business expert, role model, or superstar; we were created to play the unique role that only each of us can play.

May we discover our true identity.  May we allow ourselves to be used in the manner in which we were intended, and may we place ourselves in the hands of the One who can use us to the fullest measure.

“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Paul of Tarsus (Ephesians 2:10)