Your gift back to God

Feeling blessed lately? It’s OK to say “No” or even “NOOOOOO” as we all deal with this insane situation this spring.

Stuck in houses….can’t go anywhere….and if you do you need to wear some mask….watch what you touch….wash your hands frequently….wipe down anything from outside…stay away from other people….do so many online video meetings that your head hurts….

We all know about the brave souls working in hospitals or clinics, or even grocery stores. Yes, brave people, many of them young people, toiling away in your local supermarket. Ever thought you’d hear that it’s courageous to be toting those cabbages and boxes of Pampers?

It’s that movie from the 1960’s again – “It a Mad Mad Mad Mad World…”

Perhaps we all need a reminder on just how blessed we really are. And not the usual ones you hear – that you’re blessed to live in America and not some third world country, or you’re blessed to have food on the table, or you’re blessed to have a house.

Instead let’s focus on each individual and the personal blessings bestowed on them by a loving God above.

We’ve discussed blessings here before. And while some folks think they actually have no blessings, no talents, nothing special about them - they’re wrong.

We all have some God given talent. Each and every person. And this leads into this quote…

“Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God." – Leo Buscaglia

Buscaglia was a well known writer, teacher and motivational speaker from the 1980’s and 90’s. An American Roman Catholic of Italian parents who also respected Buddhism, Buscaglia inspired many people of faith with his enthusiasm and wisdom.

And his quote above nails it – there are two halves to this equation.

God has absolutely gifted you with at least one talent, probably more than one. But then there’s the question…

What’s a talent?

Too often we skew for the big ones here. Someone is an amazing singer. That guy is a genius with mathematics. That gal can make anything grow, she has a real green thumb. Boy, can he shoot the basketball, that guy’s going places.

There’s nothing wrong with those big talents. Many of those are often connected with being famous or making big money. Or both.

But it could be those little talents, the ones that often get overlooked, where God makes real impact.

Let’s look at some recent examples close to home as we all deal in some way with the Virus That Shall Not Be Named…

We have someone who is really talented in working with fabric, so much so that they have been creating masks for others to wear for the time being when they venture out into public areas. 

Many of us, yours truly included, would be clueless in front of a sewing machine.

We have several people who can work up a batch of tasty soup like nobody’s business. Chicken noodle, stuffed pepper, ham and bean, even yummy chili. They know the recipes probably by heart – get them the ingredients and many local neighbors who might have rather bare cupboards right now instead have a chance to enjoy some delicious filling soup.

Put yours truly in front of a stove and make sure there’s a fire extinguisher nearby. And why on earth did someone put a smoke detector next to the kitchen anyway?

Another person could play the piano in their sleep. Song after beautiful song, week after week, soft or loud, quiet or stirring. Their feet play the pedals without even thinking. Their hands float up and down the keyboard like they were born for this – and maybe they were.

The rest of us? We’d be better with chopsticks at the area Chinese restaurant than in front of a piano or organ. And that’s just trying to play CHOPSTICKS, forget other songs.

Another person has the gift of discerning God’s wisdom and writings and crafting eloquent sermons and messages for all to enjoy and learn from. A soft word here, a chuckle there, insights and views other people missed, all done in front of a room full of people staring right at them.

The rest of us? Open mouth disease. Did I just freeze or is the room that cold? Deer in the headlights doesn’t just happen out along Route 45.

Someone just knows what to do with tools. Fixing a car or truck. Repairing heating or air conditioning equipment. Making sure the tractor runs smoothly for the planting or harvest. Building a shed or house or other structures, or installing a quality roof on those buildings.

Others know what a hammer is but wonder why their fingers keep getting bashed, how does this thing work anyway? They can gas up a vehicle or tractor but their “expertise” ends there. If I plug a fan into the outlet, that will drop a hot room down 20 degrees, right?

Bottom line – everyone out there has some talent given from God, something they can do which helps to contribute to the benefit of the whole.

So – what are you doing with yours? Are you gifting back to Him?

God is the great philanthropist. That’s a fancy term which means “a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others.”

Sure, there may be philanthropists with plenty of money to spend who are in their pursuits mostly for their own publicity or ego. But most do it because they genuinely want to help others – and then see those others really thrive because of the gift. Their reward is seeing their gift ultimately used to then help others in need, and on and on the cycle continues.

In these challenging times where we already know that the world has changed and we’d better get used to doing some things differently, many will struggle. Many ARE struggling right now. Many will struggle quietly, not wanting to beg or be considered a sponge or weak.

It is at this time in history that we are called to use those talents we’ve been given, big or small, to help as many people as we can. A helping hand, a pat on the back, a word of encouragement, a good piece of advice – even small talents such as these can make such a big difference in the life of another, with nothing expected in return.

God doesn’t sit back and wait for returns from His blessings given out – but He surely smiles when he sees those blessings given out to others. That is truly spreading the gospel, one person at a time. NOW is that time.

Time to gift back to God.

From George Churchgoer