About Your Transmission

Some kids are born with familiar gifting’s. The parents discover athletic ability, musical talent or academic potential, and the child is immediately put into a standard, off-the-shelf program that the culture offers in order to unpack their treasures.

When they are unpacked, the world awaits them with sundry models of transmissions available whereby they can express their treasures in the world of today.

An easy do. No problem.

What happens if you are born today with a God given design that no one has ever seen before, that will be needed in 40 years - but not today?

I think of the Wright Brothers as a classic example.

When they were kids, no one knew that they would contribute to the advance of aeronautics. They were just considered eccentric. Eventually, their treasure was valued by the world, but it sure wasn’t sought after or valued for the first few decades of their lives.

I experienced some of the same. God designed me to advance the understanding of the spiritual dynamics of land. There was no such theology when I was a child. There was no training available for me and absolutely no place for me in the culture with that skill set if I had gotten training somewhere.

God also made me to push the boundaries on the interface between the human spirit and the brain. There was also no such theology when I was a child. Also no training and no transmission.

This is becoming more and more commonplace. God is vigorously making a public spectacle of the devil by releasing colors of His wisdom that the world (and the devil) have never seen before. Because the world has not seen them, there is no grid for recognizing them, no training program to unpack them and no transmission for those special gifts to connect their immense engine to when and if they do get trained.

So what do you do if you are one of those people?

Well, for starters, quit whining about the world around you not recognizing you. Having to defend your right to be the way God made you is tough at times, but it is part of the growing process that God planned for you. He could have created a family, or a teacher, or a spouse who absolutely understood you and made it easy for you to be you. If He didn’t, then it is because Father knew best. Embrace that hardship as part of the journey.

Second, do what you have to do to get along in the culture during your preparation time.

I love the story of the Wright Brothers because they did that so well. They built a bicycle shop where they sold amazing, cutting edge bicycles to an appreciative public that thought they were the absolute best bicycle geniuses the world had ever seen.

It is a good strategy to have a day job that allows you to function in the culture, while you are developing your engine or building your transmission. Jesus was a carpenter. Smith Wigglesworth was a plumber. D. L. Moody sold shoes for a living during the formative process. Billy Graham worked at a golf course.

Third, make a plan to unpack your treasures even though there is no conceivable benefit to the culture and no place whatsoever for you to plug into the existing culture.

In the back room of the bicycle shop, the Wright Brothers did the unthinkable, the impossible and the socially unacceptable. The shop was a cover for their real work, and it paid the bills. But in the back room, they relentlessly honed their intellectual capital. Wilber was a Teacher, and he took meticulous notes of all their failures as they studied carefully the art that no one in the world could teach them.

They “knew” there was no market at all, ever, for a flying machine. There would never be a cultural transmission for their amazing mental engine. This was just a hobby the two of them indulged in.

Regardless, they honed their intellectual engine because they knew they were designed and called to explore this field.

This is the model you need to follow. When there is no transmission available and there is no reason to ever think one might be in the current culture, unpack your engine anyway.

Don’t expect the culture to believe in your calling, much less fund it. Get a day job. Look ordinary. Act in an extraordinary way, in private, for as many decades as it takes for you to master your God-given skill set.

When God gives you the green light (and not before), set about building your own transmission in a society that does not yet see how the finished product is needed.

There are three other models that are more commonly used than the one I shared.

Most people who have a calling that is new to the culture go to extraordinary lengths to make themselves fit into one of yesterday’s transmissions. They accomplish little and are miserable doing it.

Others embrace the lie that they cannot possibly fulfill their calling because there is no one to unpack them and really no one to build a platform under them (AKA a transmission), so they grieve the loss and resent the culture for not doing for them what God never intended the culture to do.

Many more demand that the Body of Christ recognize their gifting, legitimize them and fund it, which generally does not happen.

As I have studied the lives of many unique individuals who eventually changed the world, the pattern that works most often is:

  • Settle the fact that your gift is unique and that it came from God.
  • Get a day job and hone your never-before-seen skill after hours. Really hone it.
  • Build your own transmission when the world is still not ready for it.
  • Trust God to make a place for you in the culture AFTER you have done the above.

Arthur Burk
August 2014

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