What Is My God-Given Gift?
What goes up, must go down. Sometimes softly. Sometimes like an Ice Age-inducing meteor. Such has been 2023 for Realtors like myself.
The new RV is ready in storage but that's exactly where it shouldn't be - in storage. "Gamble" was purchased for the sole purpose of hosting my own DIY book tour for "Looking Up." Yet I remain on the couch, frantically searching for a new business to start to provide the income to pay for the book tour. By midnight last night I had come up with a list of prospective initiatives with Mobile Car Detailer at the top. Seemed easy enough to start and I could spend more time in the love of my life: Bob, the RAM of God, my 2500 Cummins diesel. At $300 or so a detail I could generate some cash to fuel "Gamble" out onto the road one week at a time.
But my finger couldn't hit the "Buy" button once all the equipment was in my cart.
There's always an opportunity cost to how we spend our time and money. If I'm detailing cars, yes, I'm earning money but I'm not investing in my gift. Was I really put on this Earth to scrub ketchup stains out of upholstery for a few bucks? Is that the story I'm going to excited to tell when I'm all out of time?
Anyone can make money. Some of us are better at it than others. Very few people have unleashed gone all-in on their gifts. Worse, they know it.
In Matthew 25:14 a Master gives three servants a lot of "talents." In that age, a "talent" was a monetary unit, the largest of its time and worth considerable value. To the first servant he gives five talents. To the second, two talents. To the last, one talent. After a time he comes back to settle his accounts and discovers that the first servant traded his five talents for five more and doubled his lot. As did the second servant, now having four talents. But not the last.
The last servant proclaims he was afraid of losing so he buried the talent he was given in the ground. The Master is furious that his gift bore no return and no interest. To the first two servants the Master awards even more talents but to the last, he takes the talent away.
The parable features talent in financial terms but the larger meaning speaks to the resources, time, ability and money we are given in this life. And, how we use them.
God has given each and every one of us a talent. That's His gift to us. What we do with it, how we use it, how we share it and how we multiply it, is our gift back to God. No one was sent here to bury their talent in the ground. At some point we will all have to show what we did with what we were given. Will you be proud at your presentation?
In Looking Up, the death of my grandmother gave me a glimpse into my own final moments and I resolved to reverse engineer my story to make sure that at every juncture and decision, I made the choice that honored my time and talents. I stopped forcing job interviews at places I didn't want to work, I stopped hustling trinkets just to make a buck, and I stopped trying to repackage myself as someone I wasn't just so someone else would give me a paycheck. I stopped saying "I'm afraid" and got into that damn cargo van with my sneakers and...my talent.
To this day, it remains one of the best decisions I ever made.
When financial fear crawls into your mind it can paralyze the whole body, but I am reminded of what my duty is here, while I'm here: to multiply my talents.
As such, if you need your car detailed, I recommend a bucket and a rag.