My thoughts are spinning on the question of my gifts and talents.
Am I putting the gifts and talents God gave me for the purposes He intended? Am I employing them to the fullest or am I wasting what I have?
Although these questions were triggered by the message we heard in church yesterday, they have been in the back of my mind for a long time.
For many years I believed I had a gift for music. I was very involved in all sorts of music programs and activities. Twice I won the Royal Conservatory silver medal for having the top mark in the province in my violin exams. I was shining in the spotlight in my small world. When I went to Germany to study at the Music Academy in Hanover I discovered I was musically illiterate; in fact, my violin instructor told me I was not a violinist. I continued pursuing a music career for a few years but didn't get anywhere. It's easy to explain this as the result of the instability of my mental health,, but deep down I wonder.
Is music my God given gift that I failed to employ to its fullest potential, or do I have an appreciation and love for music that has been heightened and sharpened by my past musical involvement and exposure as well as my music education?
I really don't know how to answer that.
What about other gifts? I went through a process of determining my spiritual gifts 11 or 12 years ago. I don't remember what they all were but I do remember there were more than a few on the list. Given I don't remember what they were, I very likely haven't used them to their fullest potential.
In the last 10 years of my work in mental health I did a lot of public speaking. I know I had an impact - I was told that many times. Is public speaking my gift? I really don't have a desire to go back to that again.
I began this blog last summer as an exercise to explore my creative abilities to write. Is writing my gift? Some people tell me it is. Maybe its communication in general, although my ability to communicate with my wife and kids can be seriously questioned at times. If writing is my gift and God-given purpose, what am I going to do with it?
If I'm going to write, it has to be more than blogging! A few people have strongly encouraged me to write a book.
But what do I write about? Who do I address, for what purpose? This has got to be about more than receiving recognition and accolades. Can I write without being in the spotlight? Is humility congruent with the creative arts?
Can I serve others by writing? If so, how do I do that? Where do I start?
My head hurts now. I need to take a break and get back to sorting these thoughts out later.
“When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left,
and could say, "I used everything you gave me.”
~ Erma Bombeck