Monday, September 13, 2010

Do You Own Your Talent?

MOOD STATUS: "Jealous". Hubby ran 11.2 miles yesterday morning. He's totally smoking me in running.

RECENT IPOD DOWNLOAD: "Glitter in the Air" by Pink

If you’re Christian, you already know that in the New Testament there is a parable about a rich man about to embark on a long journey, so he entrusts three of his servants with “talents” of money.

Remember that one? No?

Oh. Well, the first servant is given five talents, the second is given two, and the last is given one talent. The first two servants immediately put their talents to work and increase their owner’s investment. However, the servant who was given only one talent becomes afraid to lose his master’s money and buries his talent in the ground.
Needless to say, when the master comes back from traveling, he is NOT happy with that last servant.

Ok. So why am I throwing a Bible lesson into my post?

Well, recently my friend gave me a passage of a book called Simple Abundance for me to read. I found it very interesting, so I thought I'd share it with you since it's a great way to kick off a Monday.

In the book the author writes about that parable like this:

“This is a parable about creative risk. We feel sorry for the servant who buried his talent because, as Elizabeth O’Connor points out, ‘his cautious, protective measures seem very reasonable.’ The master comes off as a thug, throwing the poor soul into darkness without comfort or pity just because he’s played it safe. Since most of us DO play it safe, this story makes us very nervous.

It’s meant to.

Many of us squander precious natural resources—time, creative energy, emotion—comparing the size of our talents to those of others.”

This has really made me look at my writing and how I work in a different light. Sometimes I can get caught up with what is popular instead of writing what I write best. Other times I don't treat my writing time as precious. I waste time instead.

So I encourage you to take some time out and think about your writing gifts too. Don't compare. Acknowledge those God-given gifts you were given.

Own them.

Then be willing to invest in yourself.

Remember as Sarah Ban Breathnach writes, “Playing it safe is the riskiest choice we can ever make.”

If you were one of those servants, which one would you’d be? Have you buried your talents? Do you think you've invested enough in them?

40 comments:

Em-Musing said...

A great post! And so true. I'm going to think about my "talent."

Terri Tiffany said...

First off--11 miles??? Wow.
And I do love this--it gives me chills to think that GOd has given us talents and then I want to weep when I think that sometimes I waste it and not use it for him.

Hannah Kincade said...

What a great post! I'm one of those who buries my talent. I admit it. I think I'm afraid that no one will enjoy the gifts I have to share, if that makes any sense. Thanks for the encouraging post!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Thanks, ladies!

Terri: Yes! Is that insane or what? And he ran in the rain too! (But he was in a running group so they all encouraged each other)

Joanna St. James said...

I definitely have not invested enough time, it is so easy to get carried away without realizing it

Misha said...

I try to use my talents, but sometimes it feels like I'm not using them well...

Great post :-)

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

Simple Abundance is a GREAT book! I think I need to read it again; it's been a long time. Thanks for the reminder!

Laura Pauling said...

I love that parable - as scary and thought-provoking as it is. We live life once and we hope we are on the right path using the God-given talents we have.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Cool point--to invest in yourself b/c the talent is given by God. He wants you to use it.

I like.
~ Wendy

Karen Lange said...

Good post. Makes me rethink some of the things I've committed myself to.
Thanks and blessings,
Karen :)

Joanne Stewart said...

Great post, Jennifer. Thanks for the reminder.

Maria Zannini said...

Oh gosh. I hope I invest myself. Life is too precious to do less.

Diane said...

Great post! I just fessed up and embraced my talents and I do feel like they are ready to multiply. :O)

Sarah Forgrave said...

I feel like I'm finally nurturing my talent the way I'm supposed to. It's a good feeling. :)

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

I totally agree. We should cultivate the talents God gave us. I think the parable of the talents tells us that sometimes we have to take a chance and put ourselves out there. Living in fear of failure will ultimately cause us to embrace the one thing we try to avoid.

T. Anne said...

I think this is such a valuable lesson for us as writers. It's easy to forget that every moment is precious and what we have is a gift not to be misused. I really need to remember this and cherish my writing time. Nice post Jen.

Elana Johnson said...

You have no idea how much I needed this today. I've been wandering around in this dark place called the crazies, and it's terrible. Maybe I can find my way out now.

Sandy Shin said...

This is such an apt post. I had never considered that parable in context of talents or writing before, but it's so true. Thank you so much for this food for thoughts.

Susan R. Mills said...

Great post, Jennifer. It's given me a lot to think about today.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

What a beautiful and inspirational post. Thanks for sharing!! And, I'm also inspired to lace up my running shoes...

Tamika: said...

Love this parable. I thank God everyday for giving me the gift of writing. He entrusted me with the written word to enrich and inspire His people to know that He loves them.

And knowing that I will have to stand and give an account of what I did with this gift makes me more energetic about giving God my best:)

Jen Chandler said...

Oh good! And here I thought I was the only person who thought the master in the parable was thuggish. That parable always made me feel nervous. Now I know why!

This could not have come at a better time! Own my talent. What a marvelous idea! I'll be thinking about this all night.

Cheers,
Jen

Kristi said...

Love this post! This subject has been on my mind alot lately.

Writing has always been an important hobby of mine, but I often worry if it's one I should continue. I just don't think I can live without it. Maybe I just need to "own my talent" a bit more and have some faith...

Thanks for the inspirational post!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Sounds like a great book. I think I'm guilty of trying to bury my talent sometimes. But I'm working on it. It's all a process.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm guilty of wasting time. Horribly guilty. But I don't bury my talents. I strive to honor them to the best of my ability. This is a wonderful post.

Shelley Munro said...

Jennifer - thank you for this post. I needed to this right now.

Carolyn V. said...

I hope I'm not burying the gift. What a great way to look at it with the writing. Gives me something to think about. =)

Patti Lacy said...

I'm sure doin' my best to use what I have for the glory of the kingdom.

God is sure showing me some different ways to serve!
Patti

Laura Marcella said...

I love Simple Abundance!!! I remember my mom reading it each day, and I finally got my own copy this year. It really makes you think about your approach to every day life and becoming the best person you already have within you. It's just tapping into your own authenticity!

Jenny said...

This was soooo serendipitous. Thanks Jennifer.

Rula Sinara said...

Great post and it came at a perfect time. Thanks for the inspiration.

Janna Qualman said...

This is wonderful, Jennifer, thank you. I don't want to be the one who buries the talent.

Now I'll have to do something about that.

Stephanie Faris said...

My writing talent is pretty much all I have...but I try to maximize it instead of bury it. TRY. I'm just hoping all that trying will pay off eventually!

Kara said...

What a great post! I'm always worried I'm not using the talents given to me to their fullest extent or maybe even ignoring them altogether. One of the prayers I repeat each night is for me to recognize the talents I have and use them in the way God intended:)

Katie Ganshert said...

I hope I'm using them for all they are worth - all for the glory of God. Love this new take on the parable!

Lynn said...

Thought provoking and timely post for me, Jennifer! I've been taking time away and re-evaluating all my goals. I was getting caught up in the popular, rather than in my own creativity. We'll see how I do. I'll now refer to this scripture passage, too. Thanks!

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Queenie Jeannie said...

Great post!

I have to remember to START with myself and not leave me til last...or at all! I can get so caught up with everyone else and forget myself, and that makes this Mama a crabby pattie, lol!

Amie B said...

i once had someone tell me that writers are lazy and narcissistic.

(obviously they're JPL - just plain stupid)

i really like this analogy. writing is a GIFT. so is time. and we shouldn't waste either of them.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Lovely post! Thank you for visiting my blog. :-)

My goodness that's a lot of miles...

I think I'm still hoping I have a talent???