At the risk of sounding bragadocious, you should know God has bestowed some wonderful talent upon me. I'm not saying I'm the best at what I do. Nor am I saying there isn't room for improvement. Reality is, I will probably never receive large sums of money or huge accolades for this. However, I am passionate about this God given talent. So much so, that if I could quit my job and have a guarantee that pursuing this talent would make ends meet I would do it (at least that's what I keep telling myself now). What is this talent I speak of? Cleaning! Actually, that's not what I am talking about. But, if you do know me you would probably agree with that one as well. What I am talking about is preaching (and possibly writing).
Now, can I be honest with you? For the past several years, I haven't done much with this talent. The word that would most accurately describe my use of this talent God has blessed me with is squander. Jesus told a parable about a couple of guys who were given "talents" by their supervisor. Right now, I'm feeling kind of lazy. That means I'm not going to retell you the parable, so I suggest you open your Bible and turn to Matthew 25:14-30 and read it for yourself.
Did you read it yet?
If you haven't, stop reading this until you read the parable!
Now that you have done so, we can continue.
Start off by taking a moment and putting yourself in this story. I would like you to think about which of the servants you can relate to most. Sadly, I can most readily identify with the last one. I am identical to the guy that took his talent and buried it--all out of fear. What caused me to bury my talent was the fear of never measuring up. Never amounting to what I thought God wanted. Only, I never even knew what it was I thought He wanted for me.
By nature, I am a very competitive person. Competitiveness pumps through my veins. It is hard-wired in my DNA. I get upset when I don't perform the way I know I can. This means, I am constantly striving to be the best (not necessarily a bad thing). However, in all my striving I find myself constantly comparing myself to others. When it came to my two talents, I was comparing myself to the guy with five talents (think Andy Stanley, Rob Bell, Craig Groeschel). Of course I was never going to measure up, I haven't been entrusted with five talents; I have been entrusted with two. Nor do I have the experience many of these five talent guys have. This entire time I have been playing the comparison game (which, by the way, never works out for anybody), I wasn't even comparing apples to apples. No wonder I was frustrated and fearful.
Not only have I denied myself the life God intended for me. I have also denied God the opportunity to use me. Furthermore, I took away from others the opportunity to be edified with this talent. In case you were wondering, this is completely unacceptable! If this were baseball, I would have just struck out. Thankfully, that isn't how God operates. I am grateful for the second (third, fourth, fifth, etc.) chances that He offers a guy like me. He had every right to take my two talents and give them to someone that was going to make use of them...but He didn't. I just hope I move beyond the fear and burying aspect, even though a lot of times I feel ill-equipped and completely incapable.
With that I resolve to, first and foremost, dig up my two talents (it's doing nothing buried beneath the fear and unrealistic expectations). Next, I am going to make myself comfortable with the fact that I am a two talent guy, not a five talent guy. The third thing I have decided to do is continue to develop my two talents. Finally, due to my detail oriented personality, it is necessary I set a time-frame to make use of these two talents. The time-frame I have set is one year. I can't waste more time squandering this talent when God wants me to make the most of it and the world needs me to use it.