Every time someone hands me a personality test, they laugh. I’ve gotten used to this and I understand it.
My personality is not a light hidden under a bushel. It shines like a beacon in the night and speaks with a voice loud and clear.
Last week, I took a Spiritual Gifts test for a retreat team I’ve joined.
At least this time, the nice lady who gave us the test didn’t laugh at me until she gave me the results.
On a scale of 1 (Almost always true) to 4 (No desire towards it), and with five questions for each gift—this means the lowest score (and strongest affinity) would be a 5 and the highest score (and weakest affinity) would be a 20—I scored a 5 on Administration.
Also, a 6 on Faith and 7s on Discernment, Hospitality, Leadership, Service, Teaching and Wisdom.
I’M NOT A MARTHA. YOU’RE A MARTHA.
Ok, I’m a Martha.
And really, I don’t want to be a missionary, healer, evangelist or believer in miracles. I want to teach the catechism, say the prayers, honor the traditions and keep the calendar. I want to organize gatherings where missionaries and healers and miracle believers and evangelists come share their stories because we need that. All of us need that. We need to listen to those with the gifts.
And I need to build the agenda for that meeting, perfectly scheduled down to the last snack break.
I can see what needs to happen and how. I can make that vision come true. I can find and convince the right people to show up.
I may not move the mountain. But I know who can.
I used to think that the payoff for these gifts was a job well done, mostly because my OCD had yet to be diagnosed and treated.
Just like Martha, I had to learn: my gifts are all front-loading. Which means, if I’ve done it right, I get to be present for the very thing I built. I get to see the fruits. It only works if I let myself be done. I can’t try to control what I have wrought.
If I’m still trying to administer, lead, serve and teach unto the very last moment, I miss it.
But when I trust my gifts and my boundaries, then I see this little boy, waiting on God to call.
I see 70 kids singing joyfully at the end of Mass. A 17 year old boy standing in tearful awe of a famous painting in the Louvre. My daughter and her friends dancing in the sunlight in their First Communion dresses. Teenagers giving up their first week of summer sleeping-in to work at church. A young woman we have loved and cherished finding the man God meant her to find and planning a life with him.
So now that’s what I do. I plan and lead and serve and administer and then I send it out into the world and watch what happens next.
I can’t share the test I took on the blog because someone paid for the rights to use it. But if you search “20 Spiritual gifts test” you’ll find some iteration of what I took.