Living With The Gift

Life, in its barest sense, could be described as a march through a war zone with birthday cake and job promotions around random corners (just to keep you moving forward.) The simplicity of childhood fades into the chaos that is adulthood and young adults are charged with understanding, not only who they are, but how they fit into the great wide world. Gifts and our abilities to use them play a key role in our development as young, useful people.

Useful could be perceived as a negative item but I assure you that there is nothing more valuable than being a useful adult. Such a term can transcend the workforce where it is so commonly associated. Usefulness can be implemented in personal and spiritual relationships as well as at the workplace. So where do we, as young adults, cultivate this "usefulness?"

I think a large part of understanding our personal worth lies in implementing our God-given gifts. You know what I'm talking about. What makes you, well, you? What ignites a fire within you and makes you burn from the inside out? Hopefully, we all have something, anything, that gives our life meaning and substance.

There's something daunting about harnessing our gifts, however. We are offered talents, skills, etc by our Creator as a means of glorifying him in any way possible. A person blessed with the beauty of artistic craftsmanship may be charged with creating a masterpiece of God's countryside. A person blessed with the beauty of song may be charged with communicating God's glory through songs and devotion. I use the word "charge" because we face challenges every day in regards to our talents.

The secular world in which we live constantly dangles morsels of temptation before us to drag us from Christ with the promise of something better. It seems redundant just writing that. The promise of fame and fortune seems to be on equal footing with Christ and Salvation. I wonder why we allow ourselves to be so easily cowed and dominated by the sins of this world when we have the strength of the universe's Creator on our side. It's not a simple equation to attempt to balance.

I was listening to a podcast a couple of days ago where a concert pianist recalled an experience he'd had with God and his talent. He had recognized the fact that his raw talent at playing the piano was building a barrier between him and God and he "permitted" God to remove the ability from him if it was to be his downfall. The next morning he awoke without the use of one of his arms, no injury, no nerve damage. I was disturbed and mystified. I was relieved to learn the pianist regained the use of his arm--probably through dedicated study and partnership with God. God takes the gifts he awards us very seriously and I think our misuse of those gifts breaks his heart.

It made me wonder what I would be without my gift. The gift of crafting and fitting words together. It made me uncomfortable but, even more so, I wondered how I use my talent. I'll admit I don't always use it to the glory of my Creator. Sometimes I proverbially "doodle" and just enjoy my talent. I like to think that God is alright with that, however.

I constantly try to keep God in the cross-hairs of my life, including in my ability to write. It doesn't always work but, thankfully, God still loves me and chooses to bless me further. I live with His gift of life and promise within me every second of every day. I do my best to live His gift to the best of my ability.

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