Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Talent


Talent has been written about throughout history. Napolean Bonaparte is credited with saying, “Let the path be open to talent”. Maya Aneglou believes that “every person is born with talent”.  Louisa May Alcott wrote that, “You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long, and the great charm of all power is modesty”. The list goes on and on. All of these names are people that had a talent and used it. Harnessing a talent is one of the greatest things a person can do, especially when they use it for the glory of God.  

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV) commands us, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace”. Could that be any clearer? God gave us gifts and talents…. USE THEM! So why am I writing about this? I have a gift that I have been trying to squish and hide for years.

I am a reasonably smart young woman. In college the feminist movement really got ahold of me. I bought into the angry man hating ways more than you can imagine. Thoughts like these took root in my mind, “I am smart, so that means that I am meant for better things than being a housewife…. Right? If I am not going to get married, I must have to give up kids too.” Because of this I began to squash the person that God made me to be and instead I worked in the opposite direction. A flashy internship where I wore beautiful clothes and met with important people kept me pretty busy. But, at the end of the day when I crawled into bed I ached for more.

Then I became a teacher.

I am made to serve. That is where I feel all the pieces fall into place. Yes, I am a teacher by profession but the reason that I love teaching? I love being able to help children reach their full potential, even if they don’t see it yet. My teaching is more advocacy than anything else. Yes, I teach numbers and letters, phonics and addition. More importantly I teach strength of mind, heart, and character. I push each child to take the next step even when they think that have nothing left. This week one of my kids had a huge break through. He met several of his developmental milestones for the very first time. My heart swelled with pride, thankfulness, joy, admiration, and love at seeing the smile on his face when he got to hand his report to his dad.

I have no idea what each child faces when they go home. Some of them have wonderful families, some of them have difficult families. As a teacher I am: educator, provider, protector, friend, confidant, and advocate.  While I may not be allowed to witness outright, I can do other things. I can be a smiling face, a shoulder to cry on and the arms that comfort them. No, these kids may not remember my name when they graduate high school but each and every single one of them was loved while they were in my class.

Romans 12: 6-8 says, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness”. What is your gift? Are you using it, or is something holding you back? Finding that spot, where you can make a difference is incredible and I encourage you today to think about what makes your heart sing. What is God calling you to do with what he has given you? 

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Morgan