May 19, 2011
Do you know what your gifts are?
I've been thinking about this for a few days now. We've all been told that everyone is good at something - usually after we've cried in our root beer because we'll never get a recording contract like Regina Phalange from yoga class who can also bake 100 cupcakes at a moment's notice with no eggs in the fridge*, while managing her husband's international architectural design firm.

Being told that everyone has special gifts is meant to make us feel better about ourselves, but we often take it in as a second-best prize for not having the really good talents. "Regina speaks to the United Nations on behalf of starving children in the Sudan. But that's ok; I know I'm special too, because I can fold dinner napkins into swans."

No matter how many times you've been given that assurance like a pat on the head, it is true: we are all capable of doing something really well. I think that ability was added into our chromosomal soup, like a dash of salt, along with the blue eyes and dark eyebrows. It's a little somethin' somethin' that not only sets us apart from all the other human beans, but provides a satisfying outlet for service. Whether it's eggless cupcakes, humanitarian ambasadorship, or elegant table settings, when we give of what we've got we know we're fulfilling our purpose.

Purpose is at the heart of my original thought about gifts and talents. We're given them, not to augment our resume or skill set, but to help us find our place in the grand scheme of things. Knowing what we're good at is a realization of who we are. Our talents are like helpful road signs: eggless cupcakes could be a sign of gifts in administration; ambasadorship lends itself to exhortation; dinner napkins point to hospitality. (Very important: it's no good measuring one against another, for each has its place. After all, only Moses got to part the Red Sea, but where would the Israelites be without someone organizing transportation and accomodation; without encouragement and morale boosters; without snacks?)

We have been uniquely shaped to fulfill our purpose. My writing partner here at TFG brilliantly and concisely put into words what I've been struggling to articulate: God's purpose = our purpose = complete fulfillment. God is asking something of you, something only you can do. That something is the thing that will allow you to be truly, wholly, entirely you.

There's no joy in being a second-best Regina... open your own gift.

*Clearly this is hyperbole. Regina would never not have eggs in her fridge.


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