My Pastor preached from the parable of talents this morning. Many of you may know it, but for those who do not, here is a short synopsis…
A master is going on a trip. He gives “talents” aka money to each of 3 servants. The first servant he gets 5 bags, the second he gets 3 bags and the third, 1 bag. When the master comes back from his trip, the servants come to him and present what they’ve done. The guy with 5 bags of money doubled his allotment and gave the master back 10 bags. Likewise on the guy given 3, he doubled his money to 6, but the servant with 1 bag, he messed up. This servant tells the master amongst a long drawn out monologue that he hid the money in the ground and then gives him his 1 bag of money back. This infuriated the master and he calls the servant wicked and takes the money away from him.
I’ve heard this parable a hundred times, possibly a thousand, never until today, never until these probing questions were asked- statements made, has it hit home so significantly.
“What gold- (talent, resources, gift), have I been given and buried in the ground?”
“What (or who) is on the other side of my decision to double what I have been given?”
“When I diminish the gift God gave me, I insult the giver.”
“When I breakdown my bag of talents, actually look inside and see what God has given me, what do I see, what is inside it?”
It was this last question that struck me like a blow.
Often, I struggle with insignificance. Unimportance. Quietly asking myself those iconic questions, why am I here? What am I doing that’s important? Isn’t there more than this? Maybe, it’s being bombarded by “influencers” through social that seduces these questions. The constant cycle of highlight reels available 24/7 in every color, size and genre. Or perhaps, it’s just human nature and despite social and it’s ease of access has always been a vexing topic. Not quite sure of origin but am highly aware of its impact.
Yesterday though, when asked to really look inside my bag. Taking the time to open, do inventory and digest. What became visible, clearly made all my other questions silence instantly.
It wasn’t talents, gifts or resources that I saw when looking inside my bag. I saw faces. Faces of the people in my life that God gifted specifically to me. Not by chance, not for fun, for a specific purpose. The faces of my children rose up first, one by one, as if looking in a pond that shows reflections. Floating into focus, allowing me to see each ones uniqueness. Each face was followed by another and another. Each face floating in and out muted more and more of my doubts of insignificance. Some faces I believed were just acquaintances, God revealed much more. In an instant He revealed a plan so big, a sea of significance so vast. All because I opened the bag and really looked inside.
So now I must ask you, What’s in your bag? Have you taken the time to truly look. Have you stopped to do an actual inventory? Ask God to show you and I know that He will.