Gifts and Talents Can Come and Go…..
If you are anything like me you may have questioned the Lord from time to time and said, “Lord when you were passing out the gifts and talents what happened to me”?
To some of us the talents the Lord has available are not always so obviously apparent. Some seem to have them ready-made as a child. Many have had to work hard to make them usable and for some it seems that we wouldn’t recognize a talent if it was to smack us upside our head.
I will go out on a limb and state that the gifts and talents are different, they are given to us to enhance our calling.
In I Corinthians 7:20 & 24 Paul says Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he is called. & repeats his point 4 verses later. Brethren let every man, where in he is called, therein abide with God.
If we can see look back at the beginning of our walk with the Lord, our calling was probably staring us in the face. I believe mine was.
To go into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature, and to be like the man (Jesus) who went everywhere doing good. That was mine in a nutshell and in retrospect, that has never ever changed.
And in a quick review of my life I realize I have been the happiest and most content when yielded to that call. The most miserable times in my life were when I put that call on hold, tried to give it away, throw it off a bridge or hide it in the cupboard.
I am one of those whose gifts and talents were discovered mostly by trial and error.
Let me tell a story.
While hitchhiking through Canada, (23 years old) not long after finding Jesus and telling anything that moved and had life that Jesus was now my best friend and I wanted everyone to meet him .
My money had run out and I needed to get some work to get me to help me along. I found myself in this little town somewhere north that was hiring in the constructing industry.
I got a job right way. My first hour on my first day I was up on a roof with the boss nailing beams. I was there no more than fifteen minutes into it when the boss put down his hammer and says to me. Sammy, you seem like a nice kid, you need to find yourself another way to make a living because you have no future in this trade. He showed me the ladder. I lasted fifteen minutes and have barely lifted a hammer since.
My attempt to follow in Jesus steps of becoming a carpenter was just not going to happen.
As a teenager I can remember one morning while having breakfast with my dad, my mom comes in and says “Al (my dads nickname), you need to find the hammer and nail up a few picture frames for me.”
My dad looked at me like she was speaking a foreign language. Those picture frames to my recollection never got hung up. I never had a chance.
Music was also never in my families DNA. We never sang, played music or watched musicals. It was not something I learned to love or become a part of as a child.
But when I became a christian and saw others playing a guitar and singing about the Lord and his love I thought it was a great way to get out the message. I had to again go into my memory bank to see if there was any latent talent waiting to bust out.
I again took a trip down memory lane.I clearly remember my foray into the music world as if it happened yesterday. I was in elementary school we were told that we each had to pick an instrument that we wanted to learn. Our parents were responsible for buying it for us and we were to practice at home and bring the instrument to school to learn its craft.
I wanted to play the drums. An emphatic no from mom. AS a backup I chose the trumpet. Mom reluctantly agreed. My parents bought me a brand new trumpet. I was so proud of it. I took it to school a few times a week to learn to play and practiced at home. I was a slow learner and If nothing else came of it the stray cats which were a nuisance in our neighborhood found more peaceful surroundings.
One day my mom told me that someone had broken into the house and stole my trumpet. I was devastated, I cried and my budding musical career came to an abrupt end.
Over time I amused my self when thinking of those days and wondered if somehow my parents played any part in the sudden disappearance of my trumpet. Perhaps a neighborhood conspiracy to bring peace and quiet back to the four block radius? I will never know what really happened and as far as I know there were no written confessions from my dear parents when they passed on.
But my second attempt was much more successful. Fast forward twenty years I learn to play the guitar, self-taught. I was never going to be Crosby Stills Nash and Young material but God gave me enough talent to use as a vehicle for my calling, for a time. It brought many a tear to the eyes of those I witnessed to. Hmm.
But I have learned that we have to use what ever gift or talent, big or small no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time to further the calling that the Lord gives to us.
It is God who passes out the talents and he not only knows who to give them to, he knows when to give them to us. We may need them for a short period of time to use as a way to enhance our calling or these talents could blend so well with our calling we could have a hard time telling the difference between the two.
But in my humble opinion I will say this;
Gifts and talents can come and go…but our calling remains forever.