photo © 2008 Jean | more info (via: Wylio)
In a recent PBR event, my fantasy picks had interesting results. In the PBR (pbrnow.com), individuals are allowed to choose a fantasy team of bulls and bull riders. The riders and bulls that score the highest points then score the highest points for the individuals who picked them. In the recent match-up, the one bull that did not do well did not have a chance to do well. The bull was never ridden, so it had no chance at points. The bull never had a chance to show what it could do. The same is not true for most of us.
Most of us have the opportunities to offer our performance, our gifts, skills, and talents, to the world. We choose not to put ourselves in a position where those talents may be developed, enhanced, and seen. The reasons for our reluctance or refusal vary, but the reality is that we hid our potential to use the unique gifts and talents that we have been given by God. Each of us has a wide variety of gifts, talents, and abilities. Some of them are more obvious than others. For example, Palmyra United Methodist Church is blessed with many talented musicians. We have people with beautiful voices, directors, and musicians who are able to glorify God with their music. Their music can take our worship to a place beyond the spoken word. Their gift of music is obvious. While many are blessed with this gift, others like me are not. This does not make their gift better than unobvious gifts. It is a different gift.
There is a person I know who has a gift for listening. This is not as obvious a gift. She listens to folks complain, whine, cry, and share the burdens on their hearts and minds. She is able to be a calm presence in the midst of life storms. She is able to withhold judgment, be an inviting presence for others to share, and offer support and encouragement. Her gift is used in one-on-one situations, and many do not realize how special this gift is. It is not an obvious gifts, but in a world where everyone is trying to be heard, it is a blessing to have a listening spirit.
No one would know about the gifts of the listener or the musicians unless they were willing to share their gifts and develop the gifts. If the listener was too busy to notice those who need her, then she’d never use her gift. If the musicians never practiced, then they would not be all that they could be. If we never take the chance to use our gifts, then we hinder worship and other’s growth. If we don’t take our opportunities to share what we are able to do, then we are hindering the growth of God’s kingdom.
Let us take the opportunities that are offering to us to share our gifts and talents as well as developing new gifts and talents. Let’s be willing to take help build God’s kingdom. We will probably find that we do not have some gifts, but we do have other gifts. We may find that we can develop still others. God has given each one of us gifts and talents. It is up to us to use and develop those gifts and talents.