Sunday, March 2, 2014
Talents, more or less...
I was thinking about the parable of the talents today while I was hiking (no I wasn't hiking in Hawaii, these pics are from a past trip...which reminds me...I should blog about visiting Molokai and Kalaupapa someday soon) from Matthew 25:14-30. It's the story of the man who upon going away for a long journey leaves three talents with one servant, two with another and one with the third. Upon his return he finds the first two have taken his talents and multiplied them. The third, out of fear or lack of self confidence, hides his talent in the ground and eventually looses even that one.
I was thinking what a grave responsibility this is for the christian (to whom much is given, much will be expected!) and how my attitude toward this responsibility has changed over the years.
When I first became a christian, at the age of 12, I underwent a conversion experience that left me loving God but to the point where I lived almost a hermit experience (within the context of family life!). I tried to get rid of all my belongings, set up a rigid prayer and study schedule and eventually gave up something that had been pretty important to me: a coveted and hard-earned position on a competitive soccer team that traveled all over the southeast.
At the time I had a fear that because soccer was important to me and I gave so much time to it that I was making it my idol: that I was in danger of making it more important than God in my life. Although I made this decision with love and a desire to sacrifice, I think in retrospect I was also making it with very little understanding of how God works in our lives.
One thing I have discovered after years of striving to do God's Will, through joys, sorrows and tragedy, is that He does not desire for all Christians to lock themselves in a cell, pray 12 hours on their knees, fast only on communion, and sleep on a board. Yes, there are some people called to this: but when God gives us our talents it is because He wants us to go into the world and bring others to Him.
In working hard, being a team player, advocating modesty in dress, making sure I went to Mass on Sunday no matter where we were and not swearing I was doing more to witness for Christ and reach those around me than a hundred rosaries in a day would produce: if God was truly asking me to be that witness. (*Side note: I have never prayed 100 rosaries in a day...)
Sometimes I am tempted to feel that I am under committing to God...but then I look around and see how many talents He has given me that are doing good...and I sit back and say: No, this is God's Will.