By now readers may begin to see common themes among these writings. You may even notice they overlap, which is true. Many of these concepts of stewardship, vocation, and discipleship can be pictured as three overlapping circles with Christ in the middle. At any point in our life, one circle may be bigger than another but as you grow into Jesus, equilibrium can be found.
Let us spend a few moments with our time and talent. It is fitting both are visited together. In many instances, our talents require time to perform. Time is the most precious gift we have. Ask any person with grey hair or no hair and they no longer have many of the worries as someone half their age. With age, we become increasingly aware of the amount of earthly time we have. But we still have 8,760 hours in a 365 day year. Deduct the time we sleep, work, eat, watch TV, surf the internet, and many of us are left with 6 to 7 hours of disposable time. How we use that time is delineated by the priorities we attach to all the extra activities we add to our busy schedules. Soccer games, football practice, dance recitals, karate lessons, races, home improvements, hobbies… the list goes on. The question is, where does your spiritual life fall into the allotment of time? An hour per week is good, but is that good enough? Today is a good day to reflect on all the demands placed on our time. What of all our activities are bringing us closer to Christ and are reflected by us? What needs to be added and what needs to be stopped? As talents are discovered and nurtured, a natural phenomenon will occur. A desire will begin to grow and a want will ensue to share those talents with all around you. That is exactly what a steward does, evaluates their life and moves towards those activities and expenditures of time to the honor of God. This will demand that some of the very noble things you do through the course of a week or year stop. That is OK. We sometimes need to stop very good activities to gain better understanding of God’s plan for us. As my wife and I considered our move to Dodge City we belabored over the fact that many of the relationships we have would change, the school we loved would change, we would no longer have grandparents and other family in our backyard. But God is calling us to a greater understanding of His plan for us. It takes a considerable amount of trust in the Lord and a vulnerability to turn one’s life over to Christ, but the rewards are fantastic.
Again, when evaluating your schedule, look at all the personal activities you and your families participate in, consider the extent God plays a role in all that is done.
Talents, many times I have heard people say “I don’t have any particular talents”. If that is true, why did God make you? Consider 1 Corinthians 12:14-20 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good… All these are activated by on and the same Spirit, who allots to each on individually just as the Spirit chooses. Of course you have talents; they are simply not recognized or understood. Not all of us are lectors or religious education teachers but we all have some gift to give. It may be as simple as writing a condolence card to a parishioner who lost a loved one, or sending a gift basket to a person in Iraq. Your child could mow the grass all summer at no charge for a family whose spouse is overseas or for the single mom down the street. It is a sacrificial and joyful sharing of that talent that makes the difference. Ask the church office what the needs are and ask yourself, “What of these activities fits what I already know how to do”. The wheel does not need to be recreated. God gave you gifts, use them make Him smile, nine chances out of ten you will too.