2016 is really here and I’m not quite sure I was ready. My son, Sam, just informed me that he is half way done with middle school. Gaaaahhhh! And Faith keeps reminding us that she is going to first grade THIS YEAR (like, as in August). Why are my kids getting older and also why do they keep telling me about it!?! They were JUST BABIES!!
As the new year approached, I couldn’t help but consider what my goals would be for 2016. I was thinking maybe 2016 could be the year that I make my bed. I never ever make my bed so this would be a huge accomplishment!
One of my sweet preschoolers from First Foundations gave me a cute Starbucks chalkboard mug and I was already making plans to write my goals or maybe some sort of motivational quote on there so that I would see it every morning when I drank my coffee. That way I could remember to make my bed.
But then on December 29th I accidentally read Book Launch Blue Print by Tim Grahl. This quote jumped off the page “…launch your book, change the world, then keep writing.”
Great. 2015 was “tell your story” and now 2016 is “launch your book.” I was really hoping for something a little less put-yourself-out-there-to-face-rejection.
Jesus tells a story in Matthew 25 of a master who left his servants in charge of his estate while he was away. This parable keeps speaking to me as I go through the book writing, publishing and now marketing process. Jesus has left us in charge until He returns. He is saying to each of us, His followers, “take care of this world, keep making it a better place – until I come back.” He gave me this one talent – this book – and like the servant in the parable with one talent, I want to bury it in the sand because I am terrified.
Matthew 25: 31 – 34 says, When the Son of Man comes in all His majesty accompanied by throngs of heavenly messengers, His throne will be wondrous. All the nations will assemble before Him, and He will judge them, distinguishing them from one another as a shepherd isolates the sheep from the goats. He will put some, the sheep, at His right hand and some, the goats, at His left. Then the King will say to those to His right, “Come here, you beloved, you people whom My Father has blessed. Claim your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of creation.” (The Voice Bible)
He has given all of us “talents” while we are here and put us in charge of taking care of His estate until He returns. He has given us talents so we can love our neighbors, take care of orphans and widows and feed the poor – just to name a few.
What if you took your ‘talent’ – your giftings or things you are naturally talented at, your money, your job, your education, your influence, your story, your ministry, any or all of the things the Lord has blessed you with – and use them to make the world a better place until He comes back?
It doesn’t have to be “big”. I work as a teacher’s aide at a preschool Monday thru Friday so most days I use my talents to love children, prepare their craft and help them learn through art. I love it because God has given me a love for art and a love for children. Some days displaying patience when fifteen three-year-olds need to go to the bathroom at the same time or teaching a four-year-old how to use watercolors doesn’t seem “big” – but it is.
The enemy wants us to believe that the “little” things don’t matter and that if we aren’t displaying our gifts or ‘talents’ in front of a large crowd then it is pointless. But that is a lie. Often, the people doing the most important work are the ones we can not see.
So don’t compare your talent to anyone else. And don’t bury it in the sand. Take it and use it!
We may see a portion of the return of our investment here on earth but one day we will see fully. And on that day He says to us, “Come, beloved, and take your inheritance.”
I wrote the quote from Tim’s book on my chalkboard mug so I would see it every morning. That way I will remember not to bury what the Lord has given me but use it to change the world.
I still haven’t made my bed though.