Aiming for progress, not perfection.

"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

the parable of the talents.

on sunday, my father-in-law preached on the parable of the talents. i'm sure you know of it, but it has to do with a story in matthew 25 that Jesus told about a master who entrusted his servants with his property. he gave each a portion, though they were unequal. the two to whom the master gave more than one talent, were diligent with their borrowed gifts and multiplied them. the one to whom the master gave one, hid his talent for fear he would lose it.

i know you've probably grown tired of posts regarding my employment situation, but the sermon struck a chord with me. i have been half-heartedly pursuing a couple avenues for the earning of income and, more importantly, using my one God-given talent. but, up to now, it hasn't really seemed like anything was working. i live in a small town, with one newspaper, which happens to be on a hiring freeze, and the other possibility (ahem! asu) is apparently not at all interested. though neither possibilty has been entirely squelched, neither one has really just appeared in my face as the answer to all my problems.

but i realized sunday, that when it comes down to it, i have really been hiding my one talent - burying it and worrying that i will lose it. i haven't been waking up each day, asking God for direction and using the talent in any way with which i can come up. i have been wallowing in the fact that i can't find any "suitable" place to use it.

that's me missing it, big time.

my talent was not made only for newspapers. or even paying employment opportunities. my talent was made by and gifted to me by the Creator of the universe. He can help me to use my talent in unfathomable ways if i would just cradle it gently in my hands, look up determinedly to the heavens and ask, "what should i do today, Lord?" when it comes down to it, HE owns my talent. and who am i to limit what He can do with His creation?

so... yesterday, i actively sought a way to use my talent. and the Lord provided a way. i was hired to freelance an article.

i don't think i could explain to you the satisfaction - the sense of purpose - i've felt today while working on the story. it was covered in prayer, and it is obvious the Lord answered. all the research worked out perfectly. everyone involved was helpful, friendly and really a downright blessing to deal with.

i know more opportunities would present themselves if i spent less time moping and more time seeking.

david said on sunday that your talent will not be increased -- it will even be taken away -- if you do not tend to it and work to improve it.

"his master replied, 'you wicked, lazy servant! so you knew that i harvest where i have not sown and gather where i have not scattered seed? well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when i returned i would have received it back with interest. take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.' for everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. and throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (matthew 25:26-30)

i often find myself thinking, "i am only so-so at this. there are a million people who are better than me. i'm never going to do anything great with this." this thought clashes brutally with the large-scale dream God has given me in relation to my one talent. there is no way i can accomplish that dream without growing the talent i already have.

what's more, i really don't want weeping and gnashing of teeth.

so i suppose the best option here is to have faith and invest my talent, even though it is weak and underdeveloped. if i don't, at the very best, it will stay that way. more likely, it will disappear, gone forever to one who is brave enough to use it properly.

i want to please Him. i want Him to have my life as a tool to display His ever-perfect, neverending promise of faithfulness.

make miracles in my life, Lord. increase this talent that is already Yours.

and use me to do it.


Adam said...

I totally understand where you are coming from. One of my biggest problems in life is fear of failing, making a fool of myself and not accomplishing what I think I want for myself. By doing so I hide my talents and in some ways can even see some of them slipping away. It is time I too start using God's gifts he has given me. It is harder than it seems sometimes though I totally understand. Really enjoyed your blog today. I'm praying for you.

ree said...

This is the very reason why we are starting Ready Now.
Are we the best with our talent? Absolutely not. Do we think we are? Absolutely not...far from it. When I hear other people who are so much better than I am, I think why don't they start Ready Now??? Then I hear the Lord whisper...because I didn't call them to.
Like you, I don't want to lose the one talent that I have...and the whole weeping and gnashing of teeth thing is a downer too!

Thank you for this post!!!
And congratulations on your freelance!!!
(Okay, okay, I'll stop typing now!)

kablot spot said...

I have really struggled with the use of my talents in the kingdom of God. On the one hand, I want to share freely what he has given me with people. On the other hand, I believe He has called me to use it full time for ministry and my provision. It has always been a concern to me that I will always have to tentmake and spread myself to thin to fully step into my destiny. Without anything foul intended: Why buy the cow? But... I hear ya.

marme said...

And that He has, my girl!

Susan said...

I know I'm a little late with this comment, but I'm a little late, period. The talent you have is an amazing gift. I can't tell you how proud I am to say you are my daughter. Just to set the record straight, however, you have SEVERAL talents. Not the least of which is being the best mother you know how to be and loving and supporting your husband. There is also the talent of creativity, the talent of singing, the talent of friendship, the talent of listening... should I go on? In short, you are incredibly talented and I know God will use all of your talents to do His work. He already has in so many ways. I love you - Mom