Reading in the book of Numbers in the Bible, there are specific tasks assigned to certain clans of the Levites. Aaron and his sons were the priests, and they were to supervise.  The Kohathites were given the task of packing the implements of the sacred tabernacle when it was to be moved.  In Numbers 4:11 “Over the gold altar they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with the hides of sea cows and put its poles in place.”  The Gershonites were assigned to gather then move the different fabrics of the tent of the tabernacle. The Merarites were to move the poles, ropes, and tent stakes.

 Skin color, height, body type and other physical differences are not mentioned as distinguishing characteristics of these clans. It was only their work on moving the tabernacle which distinguished them. The Gershonites were not to touch the altar and the Kohathites were not to carry with the poles.

If the poles were not moved how could the tent be set up in the new location? If the altar was not moved why bother with the cloth of the tent? Each task was important but only if all the tasks got done. Each clan was important but only if they did the work assigned to them.

The modern equivalent is the creation of job descriptions and accompanying titles. If one is an accountant, it is a distraction to do the work of a machinist. If one is a salesperson, it is a distraction to work in shipping. If one is in quality control, why climb into the process of creating the annual business plan.  God gives skills to certain individuals in each area. Sweeping the factory floor is just as important as managing the family leave requests in human resources.

Education is the prime differentiating factor between most jobs. Learning takes extra effort, and usually at the sacrifice of other more relaxing or enjoyable activities. It is admirable to go to night school at the end of a hard workday. The person emptying the trash may be just as smart as the chief operating officer.  What each of them knows, and can utilize, has led them to their place in life.

One of the things I admire about this age are the possibilities. Regardless of all the characteristics which cause us to compare and contrast one another, we can all better our lot by being more educated. We are drenched by the learning resources on YouTube and the Internet. Books can be bought on any subject for four or five dollars. The world is open for us to travel by video. In one hour, we can cook a recipe from any cuisine on the planet.

If someone asks, “What good are you?“ You can change the good by learning a new skill in a week or a new career in a year. The contrast with the “old you” can be remarkable. Age, finances, and time present barriers to change. Intention, interest, and passion can overcome obstacles if you just decide to go for it. Paired with God-given talent, any person can be an unstoppable force for good.  You have an opportunity.

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