Talents

We are all given talents – gifts, that is.  Jesus even taught about this in the parable where the 3 individuals were given varying talents. He goes away for a while and returns later to see how these talents were used… It sounds like a talent is like a dollar, but it could be anything. Anyway, as we all know, the one who got 5000, went out and doubled the amount. The same with 3000. But the one who had little, only 1000, buried them, and returned exactly what he received. The first 2 were praised, the 3 scolded and sent away.

It seems to be about investment. I have many gifts, many talents. Not great talents, not great gifts, but an adequate supply. These won’t make me famous. And, in my mind’s eye, they are probably minor talents. But, the ones that I have invested are the ones that have paid off.

I love music. I don’t have a wonderful voice — I’ve long suffered from allergies, and I’ve done things that haven’t helped my voice quality. Over the course of nearly 45 years, I have spent a lot of time with a guitar in my hands. I’m good enough to know how good I’m not. But, the investment has paid off. I am a parish musician.  As such, I have been put in intimate contact with music that expresses the things that I don’t have spoken words to express. I have had the opportunity to learn from other musicians. Scripture put to music speaks to me at many levels, and I remember it better. It has led me to read church documents of liturgy that I would probably have never looked at otherwise. It causes me to consider the Sunday readings more deeply as I try to select music to celebrate the themes. For me, the investment in this bit of a talent I have been given has paid back even more than the doubling of the gift that the 2 good servants experienced. I pray that this is what the Lord is asking of me.

In other areas, I’m a bit more like the bad servant. I’ve buried gifts that I don’t care to pursue. My mother has observed repeatedly that I always wanted to pursue things that I wasn’t good at, and ignore things that came easy or that I could be good at. Maybe that is true. I’m certain I have never lived up to my academic potential.

It’s funny though – the practice of crafting these posts is an investment in a talent that maybe I have buried. I thank my friends who encourage me to practice writing. I am grateful for their support of my investment in any small gift I have for stringing a bunch of words together to convey an idea.

With that said, I’ll also continue to encourage the gifts and talents of others. The ability to do that seems to be such a gift that I see in others, and one worthy of investment.

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