What’s Your Donkey’s Name?

“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there … Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it’” (Luke 19:30-31).

What do you do when you catch a couple of rustlers red-handed, stealing your donkey? Roll up your sleeves and teach them a lesson they won’t soon forget? Not this guy, because he had heard about the man who wanted to borrow his donkey. Word on the street was that he healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, pulled off all sorts of miracles. So he was glad to loan him his donkey, even though he couldn’t imagine why he needed it. After all, he was the miracle man—he could make a donkey out of dirt if he wanted to. And he’d been known to materialize in places without warning—boom! Just like that. So he could have miraculously popped up in Jerusalem—he didn’t have to ride a donkey to get there.

But he was proud as a peacock when he saw Jesus riding into Jerusalem astride his donkey. (I wonder if anyone pointed him to Zechariah’s prophecy: “your king comes to you … gentle and riding on a donkey.”)

“Wouldja look at that?! Jesus. Riding my donkey. And just listen to that crowd.”

“Hosanna!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”

The Bible displays an impressive exhibit of donkeys by other names. Moses’s staff. Rahab’s rope. David’s sling. Mary’s jar of perfume. Joseph’s tomb. Dorcas’s needle.

What’s your donkey’s name—your gift to Jesus? Have you ever thought of your gift as the means of transporting Jesus from one location to another—as something he needs to get to another place, to enter another heart? You do have such a gift, you know. “Christ has given each of us special abilities—whatever he wants us to have out of his rich storehouse of gifts” (Ephesians 4:7 TLB). “The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others” (2 Corinthians 12:7 CEV). Don’t overlook that “each of us” in those two sentences. Not some of us, or a few of us, but each of us.

Can I make three suggestions? (Of course I can, I’m the one writing the piece.)

Suggestion Number One: Identify and take ownership of your gift.

There’s a good chance that you will find your gift—or gifts—in Paul’s list in Romans 12:6-8. However, Paul’s menu is suggestive, not exhaustive—so if you don’t see your gift here, you can find it through prayerful reflection. Think about what you enjoy doing, and do well.

It isn’t arrogant for you to admit your giftedness, for you recognize it for what it is—a gift, a God-given gift.

Find it. Claim it. Own it.

Suggestion Number Two: Commit your gift to God.

Have you ever gone to your knees and consciously committed your gift to him?

It could go something like this: Father, you have given me the gift of ____________________. I now commit it to you to be used in your service. From this day forward I pledge to use this gift to bless people and to glorify you. I offer myself and my gift to you to use when you please, where you please, as you please.

Suggestion Number Three: Pray this prayer.

If you have followed the first two suggestions, I think you are ready to pray this prayer, written by Lois A. Cheney:

For what I am that I ought not to be,
Forgive me.
For what I am not that I ought to be,
Forgive me.

Be with my mouth in what it speaks.
Be with my hands in what they do.
Be with my mind in what it thinks.
Be with my heart in what it feels.

Work in me
through me
for me
in spite of me.