Sunday, November 20, 2011

Use It or Lose It!

Luke 19:26
"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.'"

We all have innate talents. All of us, without exception. We learn what those talents are through trial and error, through trial and success.

And, we usually clue into these when we are young. Our parents send us on the obligatory rounds of music or dance or art lessons. We play little league baseball or football, soccer or basketball. We bring home report cards bearing a teacher's praise for our prowess in math or creative writing.

When we discover, through our many experiences, a passion for a particular activity, chances are we have found our calling. But, it's a collect call. One for which we must pay. With blood, sweat, and tears.

And, practice!

Nothing can be accomplished without it. How many hours we are willing to devote to this each day will decide the final outcome. No matter how much natural talent we have, it will not, cannot, never will flourish without practice.

And, that's what separates the sheep from the goats.

It's intimidating for most of us to hear the admonition: Eight hours of practice a day if you want to succeed.

Eight hours? Really?

That's a whole work day, isn't it? Where am I supposed to find the time?

I need to work. I need to make money. I have a family to support.

Passion on the back burner.

Talent buried, not invested.

Then, God speaks: Use what time you have. Use what I have given you. Use it for my glory!

How can we turn down a request from the Lord? How can we not heed His call?

How can we not make the sacrifice?

After all, what did He not sacrifice for us?
~
What talent are you hiding? Will you pray to God to help you develop the gifts you have been given?

Let us pray:
We all have talents, Father, ones for which we need to thank You each and every day. Help us to develop them to your honor and glory. May they bless a broken world with the healing power of Your love. Amen.

I am so thankful for the gift of writing.

Readings
Psalms 118 or 145
Isaiah 19:19-25
Romans 15:5-13
Luke 19:11-27

10 comments:

  1. Martha!! I wish I had listened to this advice years ago!! I would be a hugely better guitar player...or get the passion that I have now for the Lord Jesus, earlier in life. But He has us now, right where He wants and I plan to use all of me for His Service....as I know you are! AMEN!

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  2. Hi Martha:
    We're on the same page again as I have blogged about this several times. Take a look at this column:
    http://cjpwisdomandlife.com/2011/01/10/lunchtime-conversations/
    There are links to two other related columns I wrote there too. We are each given a gift when we incarnate and it is our responsibility to find it, to nurture it when we do discover it.

    We can't let anyone alter our path. We must follow the path that God has chosen for us. Don't let any well meaning person divert you. It's so very important to discover your gift and by any means necessary to pursue it. Do you want to live a happy life? or
    Do you want to live a successful life?

    You can have both if you honor God and use what HE has given you. If you choose another path, one that will lead to financial success without regard to your soul's success, you will find an empty core when you reach your financial goal.

    Is that what you want?

    So many people are angry.
    So many people are depressed.
    So many people dislike their lives.

    Why do you think that is?
    It's because their jobs are so intertwined w/their identity. This being the case wouldn't it be a much better decision to follow God's path, to follow your heart which is where God wants then to follow an outside influence, someone who THINKS they know what is best for you?

    Only you and God know what's best. If more people followed that path then listened to others I sincerely think much of what ails the current world economy would turn around. Unfortunately, there are too many people praying to the wrong institution. Too many of us are paying too much attention to the almighty dollar and not enough attention to the almighty. Nothing will change until we decide to that is the wrong course. What can you do to begin?
    --
    Chris

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  3. I know the sweat and pain behind practice, the price well paid for living a passion or a dream. Nice post.

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  4. Nothing is possible without a little struggle..Happiness needs sadness.Success needs failure.Benevolence needs evil.Love needs hatred.Victory needs defeat.Pleasure needs pain.
    You must experience and accept the extremes. Because if the contrast is lost, you lose appreciation; and when you lose appreciation, you lose the value of everything.
    Great post as usual..Martha.

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  5. Thank you, everyone, for stopping by. You just caught me before I head out to church and then to the mountains where I won't have internet and won't be able to comment all week. Yikes!
    @Bernie - I wasted many years, too, but God had/has a plan in all of it!
    @Chris - I agree completely with "only you and God know what's best". Praying to Him to reveal our true talents and how we should be using them will take us to the right path.
    @Janu - Practice is everything! It isn't easy, as we both know, but it is necessary.
    @Alpana - I love how you grouped these opposites - yes, we need to know one before we can truly appreciate the other. You hit the nail on the head!
    Blessings to you all!

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  6. Malcom Gladwell in one of his books (can't remember which one they are all excellent) tells us that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. Yes that's a lot of blood sweat ad tears but if you are doing what you love, what you are talented in... then it's not only time well spent, it's time of joy, passion and productivity. As always love your thoughtful post!

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  7. I pray the talents will live through the pain,,....As always...XOXOXOXOXO

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  8. Anything that comes easily ...will last for just a moment as oppose to something that has been worked for... the value that remains is forever

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  9. I love having found my passion. It definetely is like finding my calling. What is most astonishing, is when you do have to put 12 plus hours in a day, often this feels like maybe 4 hours at most. Mind you i'm not saying it's easy, but when you do something you love, and in doing so make a positive difference to others, you do find the extrea energy and resolve ... from somewhere

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  10. Martha, maybe you didn't waste those years after all. You were busy living and learning lessons about which you can now write. Perhaps it wasn't God's timing yet. I don't believe that God wastes anything and can use and redeem everything if we are willing to allow Him to do so.
    Once again I love your closing prayer. Thank you. my friend and have a blessed day!

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