You may be familiar with people talking about their 'God-given' talents and their gifts. Perhaps I hear the phrase a little more often because I work in a church. There are scriptures (like 1 Corinthians 12) that discuss it in great detail; what gifts and talents there were and why they were assigned to different people. In every day terms we could look at those around us and observe that some people have a giving spirit, some have the gift of patience, some sing with a heavenly voice, some have a welcoming personality that puts others at ease, and others have a gift of praying for the sick. The list of possible gifts and talents is surely endless; each one unique to its recipient.
Having a talent or gift, though, can be a journey in itself. First, we must recognize what our gift is. Next, we must learn the best way to use it so that it benefits those around us. And lastly, we must understand the depth of our gift and how special it truly is. Each of us has a gift that is part of us, but we must also understand (and respect) that no two gifts will be the same. Because we see our gift as something natural (and easy for us) to use, we need to be clear and understand that the same gift may not be as easy for someone else to use. In a group of 20 adults one person may feel very comfortable praying out loud and do it profoundly and with confidence, where the other 19 may pray just as beautifully but prefer to pray privately. The one who prays well in front of others shouldn't think that it is easy and that any one can do it - it is clearly a gift that they possess.
I am the first to admit that I would make a lousy nurse. My heart is compassionate for those in pain or sick, but I don't have the knowledge and would often lack the patience to deal with crisis situations on a daily basis. I have the utmost respect for those who can do that, but at the same time I've had some nurses tell me 'exactly what they think I need to do and that it's easy' ... easy for them, perhaps, but not for me.
With any gift or talent there lies a responsibility that can be as big and as important as the gift itself. Knowing how to utilize your gift with a sense of humbleness and grace and strength and timing is all part of the journey. Like many journeys, they aren't always direct and often come with obstacles - but hang in there. Your 'gift' is worth the effort.
Do you have a special gift that you've been blessed with?