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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Repertoire

Lately it seems I’ve been hearing the word “repertoire” everywhere I go.

When I was watching the Olympics I heard it used in the context of the various techniques that the ice dancers could utilize to get more points (by the way I heard it in passing as I was switching the channel from the Olympics back to College Basketball…I’m just saying).
I have also heard it used in the context of coaching, singing, painting, preaching and a bunch of other scenarios that got me thinking about what a repertoire is, and why it’s important.
I checked out what Webster had to say on the topic and this is what I found…
Repertoire – “the entire stock of skills, techniques, or devices used in a particular field or occupation.”



Hmm, that’s interesting to me especially as I think about the word from the point of view of a coach.

I remember when I used to coach basketball, we would spend hours and hours designing and running plays that we could pull out at any given time and in any given situation that would give us an edge based on a particular defensive scheme or potential weakness we would encounter.

That kind of planning took lots of strategic thinking and preparation to make sure we were ready to encounter whatever came our way, for the ultimate purpose of winning the game.

We had a repertoire to pull from that was fluid based on who we were playing, and even though our game plan didn’t always work out like we wanted it to, having some skills and techniques to implement was always good to have in my back pocket as a coach.

In essence what we were saying to the team we were playing was “we respect the fact that you are here to compete with us, and we know that you have strengths and weaknesses, so in order to compete and hopefully be victorious we have taken time to prepare and plan to implement a variety of creative plays to defeat you.”

Now, we didn’t recite that mantra every time or anything but the very fact that we invested so much time and energy into developing a repertoire sent the message that what we were doing was important, and how we went about it was important because we valued each other and valued the outcome whether win or lose.

It’s interesting to me as I reflect on the word repertoire, that that’s exactly how Jesus went about His ministry when He was here on earth.

He was creative, thoughtful, precise, and in many situations whether in his dealings or healings He utilized a repertoire.

When He healed a blind guy, he used spit and dirt to make a mud pie, when He could have just snapped His fingers, clapped His hands or just thought it.

When Jairus asked him to come to his house to heal his daughter, he stopped along the way to heal a woman with a blood disease first. That little detour was just enough of a delay (from Jairus’ perspective) that his daughter died, and Jesus was “too late” to heal her.

 It’s amazing to me though, that even though Jairus’ assumption was “in order for my daughter to be healed, Jesus must physically come to my house and heal her”, Jesus knew that in His repertoire a little stop on the way to heal someone else was no problem for Him.

Walking into a room filled with mourners to encounter a girl who was now dead, was no problem for Him either, because raising people from the dead (including Himself) was in His repertoire!

Or, how about how He dealt with some of the key people in the Bible in such a way that He not only got their attention, but He was able to reach them where they were based on how they were wired.

For instance, we know Paul was a very zealous and driven individual right?  I mean, I get the idea that when it came to something that Paul was passionate about his attitude was probably “it’s my way or the highway.”

Before He met Jesus He was passionate for sure, so passionate that his life was about bringing persecution to anyone and everyone “who belonged to the way.”

I don’t get the impression that Paul was a “still small voice” kind of guy, do you?

Well, interestingly enough God didn’t use a still small voice, a burning bush or even parting waters to get Paul’s attention, He used a blinding light and a booming question to stop him dead in his tracks as he was on his way to carry out orders of persecution against the Christ followers.

“Saul, Saul why are you persecuting ME?” was the question, and I can just picture the intensity of the situation, and as I think about how God utilized His repertoire in His dealings with Paul, I’m equally amazed at the uniquely customized approach that He uses with us.

He knew Paul, because He created Paul. He knew what would get His attention and what wouldn’t, and he dug into His repertoire bag and delivered a Damascus road experience that would forever change Paul’s life.

You know, as I stop and think about all the situations and experiences I’ve been through in my life whether easy or hard, good or bad, soul-shaking or simply wake up calls, all along I can see God’s customized approach in His dealings with me.

He knows me, because He made me. He knows what will speak to me, what will move me, what will convict me, what will inspire me and what will launch me into a whole hearted passionate pursuit of Him, bringing everyone I come in contact with along for the ride. He’s got a repertoire!

I love that about our God.

I love that He can’t be defined.

I love that He can’t be explained.

I love that He has a plan and I’m a part of it…I mean, who am I that I deserve anything from Him?

The more I think about the definition of the word repertoire the more I think Webster needs to rework it when it comes to the context of God.

Webster says…

Repertoire – “the entire stock of skills, techniques, or devices used in a particular field or occupation.”

The first part needs to be reworked in relation to God because the word “entire” has the idea of an ending, limited or finite, and the more I realize how incredibly amazing my God is, the more I realize that even though He’s got a repertoire, according to our definition it doesn’t even begin to describe His love and power because it’s ENDLESS!

I don’t know about you, but I am just blown away with the level of customized creativity that the Creator of the Universe has towards me. He’s got a plan and a purpose and wonder of wonders it involves me!

My prayer today is that in every situation that comes my way I would see God’s hand and realize that because He’s knows me, and loves me His repertoire with dealing with me is exactly what I need and I need to trust Him through it.

How about you? What are you dealing with today?

Are you like Jairus? Is your assumption of who God is and how He is “supposed to “work limiting your view?

Are you like the blind guy? After he was healed, he got grilled big time about who healed Him and why. His response was classic. “All I know is I once was blind, now I can see.”

Are you like the woman who Jesus healed on the way to Jairus’ daughter? She was at the end of her rope, options gone, nowhere to turn so she reaches out in faith and Jesus stops and meets her where she was.

Or, are you like “pre-Damascus road” Paul? Zealously living your life in your own strength, going down the wrong road?

Well friend, I’ve got good news…Praise God, because He has a repertoire, He is ready and willing to meet you exactly where you are today! How amazing is that?

The Creator of everything has a repertoire, and no matter who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, or how far I’ve strayed…He’s ready to meet me where I am!

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