1 Corinthians 12:4-13
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
I am not much of an athlete…I can’t do much in terms of home repairs, and am so helpless with cars that I have trouble just changing my oil…though I am not bad at changing tire; however, I do know something about yard work and can paint – both interior and exterior.
I don’t know much about sports, but am able to discuss politics, books, movies, trivia…and of course religion with ease.
That said, I have a friend who knows sports statistics backwards and forward, he can tell me how many games the Phillies won in 1954 and who their best pitcher was that year! I also have friends who know how to build a house from the ground up…fix just about anything from a broken door, to a cracked pipe, and who can not only fix a car, but also restore one.
My brother is a genius at Math, like my father was…but I was barely able to meet my Math requirement in college, my girlfriend is a good cook, and is great at data management…I am not great at either activity; but I am a capable writer, and have done a lot of public speaking in church & the community, in business and as a member of a recovery group; while public speaking is something that terrifies her (though I still maintain that she has a lot to offer).
We all have our own talents…our own gifts that were given to us by God; some we know about from the time we are young, like my daughter’s talent as a story-teller, and others become evident as we experience life…like being a parent!
I have shared before that I had my reservations about becoming a parent – afraid that I would not be up for the task, having even fallen short as a pet owner (my cat ran away as soon as it got a chance to make an escape)! While I was excited about the approaching birth of my child, I was also very anxious about whether or not I would be a good father, and I was relieved that I would not have to raise this child on my own…I could NEVER do that!!!
When my daughter was born, I discovered gifts that I never knew I had, such as changing diapers, bathing her, dressing her, feeding her, playing with her, and how to comfort her by walking her back and forth across the living room when she woke up crying late at night. As she got older, I re-learned the joy of play, as I often got up early with her…letting her other sleep, as we colored, or made up stories with her toys, or simply went outside for a walk; and I discovered that I had a talent for fatherhood!
Then, when faced with the prospect of becoming a single parent…I became anxious all over again! Not only was I nearing the end of my marriage, but I was also going to be seeking sole custody of my daughter, and once again facing something that I was not sure that I could handle.
It was then that I realized that I needed to learn another talent: asking for help!
Learning to ask for help was almost as hard as learning to be a single parent, but I did learn to ask for help; and by reaching out to others, listening to them (which proved to be very important) and then having faith in their advice and in their talents and knowledge I learned a lot about being a single parent. One of the things that I learned was to have more faith in God’s guidance as it came to me through others, and to have more faith in my own abilities and decisions, to accept that I was not helpless, and that I did have the gifts I needed to be a single father!
I have learned a lot from sharing my gifts with others, and from others sharing their gifts with me. We all have a variety of gifts, and can learn from each other, not despite our differences, but because of them!
We are all part of the family of God, and as with most other families we will not always agree with each other and may not always get along…but we do learn from each other, support each other, and share a faith together, and we are all bound together by the love that God has given us in the gift of Christ!
We all have gifts to share, talents given to us by God…and these talents are not be hidden away, but shared with the world.
Sharing these gifts not only helps us to learn new talents, if also helps us to hone our own gifts, as we need to use and share our talents in order to allow them to grow. Just as nurturing and parenting our children helps them to grow, and in the process we too learn new resources for living a good life.
Let us Pray:
God, thank you for the many gifts you have given to us and to others. Please help us to share these gifts so that we can learn from our different talents, so that ours can grow. Thank you for the gift of love given to us in our children, and shared with each other. Let us remember that our talents are not to be hidden away but used so that they will grow to share the good news of love with all we come into contact with.