i had a supervisor once that gave me some of the most excellent advice i had ever received. He said, “stay in your lane.” i was working at Mervyn’s, was hired on as Christmas help, part-time, seasonal. What that meant for me was that i was to be terminated or let go, following the Christmas rush. It was announced, however, that there would be a few held over, or hired on as either, full or part-time after Christmas. i wanted to be one of those and told my supervisor such, and his advice of “stay in your lane” was just what i needed to hear.

Sometimes when we want something bad enough we attempt to do more than we are capable. Or maybe we are capable, but because we spread ourselves so thin we do a lot of things, but none of them are done great. So we look mediocre at best. While at Mervyn’s i did my best to “stay in my lane.” What were my responsibilities and how could i most efficiently get those done? For instance, i recall on one particular Saturday i was tasked with the Levi wall and cash wrap or POS (point of sale) or the cash register to be clear. i was to stock the denim section while keeping an eye on the registers in the Men’s Department. And so i did. Others had other responsibilities, and i let those people do them…if i felt like the registers needed more than myself, i called for backup. i maintained a clean cash wrap; i would bring out stock each time i went to the stockroom, or the restroom, or back from break or lunch. i knew my place, and i stayed in my lane.

When the holidays were over, i was hired on because i was able to do my job efficiently. i looked good. It wasn’t long after being hired on that i was promoted to Coordinator and then Team Lead. Each time understanding my place in the organization. My place in the mission of the store. God has gifted each of us for specific areas within His Church. He wants us to be efficient and effective in using our gifts. In order for that to happen, we need to “stay in our lane.” We need each other to be successful in life; God doesn’t need us, He wants us, we don’t need to do everything just “stay in our lane.”

Ephesians 4:11-13The Message (MSG)

7-13 But that doesn’t mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift. The text for this is,

He climbed the high mountain,
He captured the enemy and seized the booty,
He handed it all out in gifts to the people.
Is it not true that the One who climbed up also climbed down, down to the valley of earth? And the One who climbed down is the One who climbed back up, up to highest heaven. He handed out gifts above and below, filled heaven with his gifts, filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church, until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:15-26The Message (MSG)

19-24 But I also want you to think about how this keeps your significance from getting blown up into self-importance. For no matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of. An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster. What we have is one body with many parts, each its proper size and in its proper place. No part is important on its own. Can you imagine Eye telling Hand, “Get lost; I don’t need you”? Or, Head telling Foot, “You’re fired; your job has been phased out”? As a matter of fact, in practice it works the other way—the “lower” the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary. You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. When it’s a part of your own body you are concerned with, it makes no difference whether the part is visible or clothed, higher or lower. You give it dignity and honor just as it is, without comparisons. If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher. If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?

25-26 The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.

Find your part. Stay in your lane. Crossover when needed. But find ways to be effective and efficient in your lane. The mission of the Church, God has so graciously gifted you for, and do your very best at it.

You are Loved,


2 thoughts on “Stay in Your Lane

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