Wed Jun 26-Roles in Catastrophe (What NOT to Do!)

1 Peter 4:10-11 (CEB)

10 And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts. 11 Whoever speaks should do so as those who speak God’s word. Whoever serves should do so from the strength that God furnishes. Do this so that in everything God may be honored through Jesus Christ. To him be honor and power forever and always. Amen.


Something that I find marvelous is how a good team will balance each other out with a diverse set of skills. Literally any example of a group working together can be a good or bad example of this idea, but I think we can all agree that when it comes to an emergency and first responders, they need to be the most effective and streamlined teams. 

Tucked away in a pocket of the San Gabriel mountains is a teeny town of less than 5,000 year-round residents called Wrightwood. This is the town my husband and I called home for almost 3 years. It’s quiet, wooded, remote, and just so happens to sit directly on top of the San Andreas Fault. If you’re not up to date on your devastating earthquake trivia, experts agree a major earthquake along the San Andreas Fault is not only inevitable, it will be catastrophic. 

I learned all this when I joined the local volunteer organization called CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). We learned a variety of emergency preparedness skills from first aid, to survival, to triaging a catastrophic event. Our final exam to pass the certification course was a mock catastrophe in which a building had collapsed during an earthquake; as a team we needed to triage the situation and treat as many injuries as possible until the professional first responders arrived and could take over. 

We had two opportunities to succeed as a team and function in different roles: the leader, the searchers, the medical team, and a few others. I’ll admit our first attempt was a bit of a mess. Even in this pretend scenario, the adrenaline got the best of many of us, and some people realized they put themselves in the wrong roles. Our second attempt went more smoothly because people realized that they had better gifts for certain roles over others. 

This was a poignant lesson in what today’s scripture references: God’s gifts are diverse and we should share our gifts accordingly, doing so rooted in our faith. No matter what gifts you have, they are valuable and fulfill a purpose. You are part of God’s team, and God wants you to do what you do best. 

by Ashley Bowler

For Pondering and Prayer

How do you find yourself sharing God’s love with those around you? How do your gifts complement the gifts of others in your life to share God’s love with the world?

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the diversity all around us. When we have so many people to share so many gifts, we can accomplish so many miracles! Help us continue to share our gifts as a team, recognizing that each person has something unique and blessed to contribute. Please guide us to do what we do best with your love and grace. Amen.

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