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  • Renata Joseph

Digging up my talents


I was talking with someone here the other day and explaining that I am waiting to get really involved in things (volunteering etc) until I'm sure which direction to go in. There are just so many needs and I don't want to get pulled in several directions or commit to something and then pull-out.


My motive was to be intentional with how and where I invest my time, treasure and talents. The result was an increasingly isolated and insular lifestyle; not at all congruent with how I choose to live.


I heard myself giving explanation for my lack of involvement and the Spirit of God tugged my heart. Something was off and I needed to figure it out.


I took an afternoon last week to go to my old village and visit friends. I needed a break from homeschooling and the four walls of our rental home. I needed to connect with the people I love and to remember who I am.


That afternoon I went from house to house, visiting with old friends and new ones. One friend asked if I could teach her English and I readily agreed. It felt great to work with someone on a skill that will help elevate their life. I'm excited to visit weekly and invest in their family. The husband, who has been a friend for 16 years, is not a Christian and doesn't attend church with his wife. What an honor to bless their family in a practical way and show him (again) the servant heart of Jesus.


Another close friend's daughter is living near us in Belmopan and I got the impression that she is struggling. I connected with her last week on her birthday and had her over for dinner and ice cream. I reached out again this weekend and she confessed that she has been struggling with depression for months and could really use some support. She and I are now going to meet weekly. I will pray for her and do my best to shine a light in this dark place she is in.


In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents. In the story, a wealthy landowner is leaving to travel for an extended period of time and leaves his servants with talents (money) to invest for him until his return. Two of the servants invest and grow their master's money, while the third is too afraid to lose the money and so buries it instead of investing. When the landowner returns, he praises the obedient servants and punishes the third.


I realize I have been acting out of fear; or more accurately, I have not been acting out of fear. Like the third servant, I have been afraid of investing my talents in the wrong place, afraid of not getting a return, worried that I'll mess up my master's business. At first I didn't recognize what was going on because my perception was clouded by false logic and excuses. But now I see it clearly.


Thank God He didn't let me stay self deceived and get more and more wrapped up in my head. Instead, He put a finger on it and helped me see the truth. The truth is I have been given a lot and I am asked to invest it for Him. Mentoring a young woman and teaching a few English classes will not change the world. Soon enough we'll discover what the "PLAN" is for us being here and my time and talents will probably be used much differently. But in the meantime, I will dig up those buried talents and use them, not only for others and myself, but as a worship to my God.

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