"What's In Your Hand?"

Worship services are held in the March Air Reserve Base Chapel each unit training assembly weekend. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Megan Just)

Worship services are held in the March Air Reserve Base Chapel each unit training assembly weekend. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Megan Just)

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. -- Pastor and author Rick Warren tells a story using the movie classic, "The Ten Commandments," as his illustration. In the movie, there's a scene where God commands Moses (Charlton Heston) to tell Pharaoh of Egypt to release God's people from bondage. Unfortunately, Moses doesn't think he was up to the job because he tends to stutter in front of an audience.

So God asks Moses a very interesting question: "What's in your hand?" Being a good shepherd, Moses is holding a shepherd's staff, which Warren says indicates a few important things about the reluctant leader. It represents his identity-he's a shepherd. It's his influence-it's what shepherds use to move sheep along in a desired direction. And the staff symbolizes his income-an important shepherding tool to earn a living.

Warren explains the point that God was making was that Moses already had everything he needed to accomplish he was called to do. I happen to think it's also a good question to consider once in a while when we begin to wonder whether we have what it takes ... "What's in your hand?"

Your identity: Have you considered that as a member of the world's most powerful military, you've been conditioned with the best tools, training and resources that money can buy to stay on target, to make things happen and get things done all before 9a.m. that most people don't do all day (remember the commercial)?

What's in your hand? Your influence: Every so often someone will ask me how old I am. I'll answer. "Oh, I thought you were older," the person will sometimes reply. I then mope around in a funk for three hours. Occasionally, though, he or she will say, "Really? I thought you were a lot younger." No kidding? You made my day! Do you know that you have incredible influence by the words you speak, write, and blog; what you YouTube, Facebook, Twitter?

So, what's in your hand? Your income: This is an easy one and Pastor Rick says it well: Did you know that if you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back and a place to sleep at night (do you have all that?), then you're richer than 75% of the people in the world? And, if you have any money in the bank, or any money in your wallet or purse, or just some spare change sitting in a dish somewhere, then you're in top 8% of the world's wealthy-92% of the world has less than you! What's in your hand?

As a chaplain, I believe the secret to happiness is fulfilling our God-given purpose in life. That is, we feel the most successful when we're doing what we've been wired to do. But, of course, the key to accomplishing it isn't by focusing on what we don't have, it's by recognizing and using the talents, skills, and resources that we already possess-what we already have in hand. So, what's in your hand? God bless!