Live Your Calling

One man learns an important faith lesson from a television game show.

Posted in , Jul 9, 2014

Jeff Japinga, Daily Guideposts contributor

The Lord sustains the humble.... Psalm 147:6 (NIV)

My son Mark was a four-day Jeopardy champion. I’m simply amazed at the preternatural ability of people like him “to answer in the form of a question” and to be so incredibly quick about it. It’s not a gift I have. Nor, apparently, is it one shared by a man named Johnny Gilbert, even though he has appeared on every episode of Jeopardy since its inception in 1984.

I’m sure you know his voice, though, and the three words he is most famous for saying: “This is–Jeopardy!” “No, no, I couldn’t answer most of these questions,” Gilbert said, talking to the studio audience, which included me, before one of the tapings began. “But what I can do is make the contestants who can answer these questions feel welcome and comfortable, and make everyone watching at home feel included. And that’s pretty important, don’t you think?”

I was impressed with the way Gilbert made all of us feel welcome. In doing so, he embodied a simple but awfully important life-lesson: that every one of us has a gift and a calling to use that gift well, in service to others, even if that work never makes our name famous beyond our own household.

I learned a lot from watching my son on Jeopardy but nothing more important than this, phrased, of course, in the form of a question:

How can I use the gift You have given me, God, to serve others?

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