Friday, November 6, 2015

Finding and Using One's Gifts

I had the privilege of spending the afternoon listening to an up and comer in the piano world. My friend asked if I would be her son Ian's audience as he played five amazingly difficult piano pieces in preparation for several competitions coming up. He needed someone who was not his family to listen, so that he could work out the nerves of performing before a judge. I was to mimic the distractions he would face from the judge. The judge would be scribbling observations the entire time, so I was told to watch, and scribble.

Now I am no music expert by a long shot, though I very much enjoy listening to exceptional piano players, which Ian is. The scribbling, on the other hand, was right up my alley. As soon as Ian began playing, I began drawing him. I had a half hour to sit and draw, while listening to his phenomenal music. It was very enjoyable.

When Ian finished, he was thrilled with the picture I'd drawn, and wanted to put it away immediately so it would not be ruined. I found that a little humorous. He had worked months on extremely difficult piano pieces and I  had worked half an hour on my drawing. Yet, both of us felt we had been given a cherished gift. (Well, at least I did. I think Ian did too...)

I love how God gifts us. Perhaps the gifts are unequal, but each of us brings something unique to the table. Some of us are gifted with amazing musical talent, like Ian. Some of us are gifted in less obvious ways, the gift of hospitality for example. (Not my gift...) People gifted with hospitality instantly and warmly welcome you to their home, and make you feel like without you, life is not worth living. (Carol F., this is you, honey.) Some brighten the day with humor and the gift of making others laugh (Amy...) Some are filled with wisdom and can counsel through the darkest of days (Holly...) Some are zany and surprise with insights that comfort and guide (Wendy...) Some are always there - always offering refuge, ports in the storm (Mom and Dad...) Some reach out in moments of need and offer just to listen (John...) Some, despite their own struggles are always ready to supply another in need (Carrie...) Some are encouragers (Gina, Lori, Terri, Consuelo, Diana, Emil, Christina, Sue...) Some, like me, love to draw and write. Some are gifted in creative constructions, like Ian's brother, Connor. Some are gifted in deep and intelligent conversation like Ian's mom. Some can fix my computer no matter how desperately it breaks down, like Ian's dad. This list could go on forever and a zillion friends' names enter my heart as I consider how their gifts have touched me.

We all are gifted in something.

If you don't know what your gift is, ask your family and your friends. I bet they know. And here is the most important thing about gifts. They were meant to be used. Ultimately, they are meant to be used lavishly and generously to the glory of God. If you aren't using your gift, start. Now. God didn't give it to you to bury or  squander.

As I left, I told Ian it had been a joy for me to spend the hour listening to him, and drawing.
"It would be a great loss to humanity if you do not share your music with others," I told him. I know Ian thought I was helping him, but I came away feeling better than I had felt in several days. That is the power of using what God has given you as excellently and as often as you can. The gift becomes a blessing.

Romans 12:6-8 

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, ...


  1. Ah gifts! Thank you for your kind words, Vicky.

  2. Ah gifts! Thank you for your kind words, Vicky.