There have been entire years upon years where I sat in my house thinking what could I do? I would sit and think about all the things other people were doing and one by one check them off as not possible for me. Let's see. I can't sing, I can't play an instrument, I can't teach a Sunday School class, I don't like large crowds (especially of adults), I can't get up and give speeches or talk in front of people. I'm not a wonderful cook, I can bake, but nothing extraordinary, I don't have a gift with people. Really what could I do?
I would sit in church and listen to the preacher going on about how everyone has something they can do, and the Kingdom of God needs workers. Everyone has a talent, some are more talented than others, but everyone has a talent and you have to share it. I spent many hours praying God would reveal not just a plan for my life, but what on Earth it was He had given me. I often felt desperate to figure out what my talent was, but often my efforts were to no avail. I just couldn't figure it out. I felt like the swan looking around at the ducks wondering where I fit in. I would look at all the ducks and think to myself, well this one has a beautiful quack. I can't quack like that. That one has wonderful feathers, but mine are pretty raggedy. This duck over here is an excellent swimmer, I'm not great at that. And each time I would become more and more discouraged.
I wanted to use my talent, I just couldn't figure out what on earth it was. So I kept looking. Then recently it came to me.
Back in Bible days talents weren't what you could or couldn't do it was a measurement of money. I have always thought of talents as coins. When you look at a coin it has it's own distinguishing markers. It's own little nicks and marks that make it uniquely itself. Each one is a little different, which is why I think in part, at least, Jesus choose to use them in the book of Matthew. The more I thought about this concept the more I realized each talent is different, as different as each person that holds them. And I started seeing my talent may be something off the beaten path.
As I searched I realized my talent was in front of me the whole time, I just had never realized there was an application in the kingdom. Then as I realized that, I started seeing the unusual talents of others around me. See, talents are always singing, teaching, or speaking. Some talents are hidden, sometimes father beneath the surface. As I thought about it I thought of the analogy Jesus used, calling the church the body of Christ. When you think about the body, the same concept applies, there are LOTS of body parts that no one ever sees. Little pieces that are hidden away.
So as I thought of this, I came to the conclusion that it's not finding your talent, but recognizing it. It's being OK with your talent being uniquely yours. Some talents are things no one ever thinks of, no one would ever say, "Oh wow look at the gift God gave you". They are little things, hidden away, in secret places no one ever sees. Oh but when you bring your talents out of hiding what a blessing. What a treasure waits for you and the kingdom. The things that can be accomplished, the souls that can be saved.
So, I'm sure you are thinking what is your talent? What is it you can do that's so great? Honestly, there is nothing that I can do that's so great, but it's the fact I choose to use what I can do everyday to go further. But that doesn't really help you figure out what your unique talent is does it?
Your talent is whatever it is you do, whatever you love, whatever you enjoy and gives you a sense of satisfaction. When you find that thing, then you can take it and go out and share it. The treasure comes in the sharing, not in the holding or the having. Everything has the potential to be a talent.
Maybe you just happen to be a really good fisherman or hunter. (Wait give me a sec, don't turn it off yet, I haven't lost my marbles). What on earth can you do with that? Well have you ever looked around your church? See those little boys sitting all by themselves? Maybe they are the ones causing all the trouble during service, ever consider they need a friend? Maybe they need a mentor, someone just to take enough time to make them feel like they are important and that they matter. Why not share your talent? Then lets not get started with when the world collapses and we have no more grocery stores and have to hunt for food, you certainly have the advantage there (and I want to be your closest friend :)
Maybe you are the world's best seamstress. Seriously? Where does that fit in? Well, look around, the more people you talk to the more you will hear, I've always wanted to learn to sew. It's a lost art that not only our youth, but our adults are starving for. There are lots of applications to use a seamstress in the kingdom.
As I was sitting and thinking about this the other day I realized, it's not just about my talent. It's about helping my daughter and son realize theirs. I don't want them to go through years and years not knowing what God has for them. Wondering around in the wilderness of life not sure where to go. I'm going to be completely honest here, my poor daughter can't sing. Now, perhaps at some point her voice will develop and she will be the best singer in the world, but right now not so. I'm OK with that and I don't plan on forcing her to sing, my plan is rather to encourage her to do what she's good at. At the moment she's loving horse back riding, and she's GOOD. She's really good and she loves it. Now what on earth does riding have to do with church? Honestly, right now, nothing, but that's not to say one day she won't be a missionary in a foreign land and the only real mode of transportation will be horse back riding. Maybe she'll open a ranch with horses, dogs, and cats for at risk children. Maybe her talent is something that's still hidden somewhere, but whatever it is it's my job to help her realize and use it.
I don't know what your talent is, but whatever it is use it! Sometimes what the church needs is the hidden talents to be turned into treasure. What good does your talent do if it stays hidden? If everyone shared their hidden talent what a better state we'd be in.